Abstract

The objectives of this study were to develop an analytical method to distinguish feed water used to produce drinking water, with varying concentrations of suspended solids, in terms of abrasiveness and to define an index that can assess the abrasive potential of the feed water coming in contact with a polymeric membrane. For such process configurations, membrane abrasion has been identified as one of the most recurring and major concerns in operation because the polymeric materials used in treatment plants are relatively sensitive to abrasion. Five different types of apparatus were benchmarked and were evaluated on their ability to be adapted to particles commonly found in most drinking water treatment plants at low concentrations. After comparing 10 criteria, the MCR302 with a tribological cell of Anton Paar was identified as the most relevant device. For the selected tool (MCR302), a statistical approach was used to provide a safe and robust ranking of the abrasive potential of the different types of water. An analysis of variance allowed the origin of the result variability to be explained. The newly developed methodology enables quantification of the abrasive potential of natural waters used for membrane filtration with a relevance of ranking higher than 90%.

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