Abstract

The low cost simplified method for implementation of pressure-assisted osmotic (PAO) backwash (BW) for spiral wound reverse osmosis (RO) membrane module is presented in this work. The effect of membrane design and an operating parameter concerning the efficiency of PAO membrane BW is analyzed. The following design and operating parameters are considered in this study: (i) spacer thickness, (ii) dimension of the permeate channel, (iii) number of leaves, and (iv) BW water pressure. The performance of PAO BW with respect to membrane cleaning efficiency is analyzed for three different high recovery RO systems by purifying 1,500 liters of water. The membrane cleaning efficiency is measured by examining the rate of permeate quality and quantity decline using ASTM D4516 method. Finally, to quantify the membrane fouling with respect to different high recovery configurations, the thickness, and composition of foulants present in the used membrane's surface are measured by using field emission scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray (FESEM-EDX). The result concludes that the RO membrane operated at high recovery with PAO BW is found to have less fouling deposits than membrane without PAO BW.

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Supplementary data