Abstract

Reverse osmosis concentrate (ROC) from wastewater reclamation plants have high concentrations of organic and inorganic compounds, which have to be removed before its disposal. Forward osmosis (FO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes were tested to treat the ROC for possible water reuse. This research investigated the combined and individual influence of organic and inorganic matter on the fouling of NF and FO membranes. The results revealed that the NF membrane removed most of the organic compounds and some inorganics. The study further highlighted that the FO membrane at NF mode removed the majority of the inorganic compounds and some organics from the ROC. A pretreatment of granulated activated carbon (GAC) adsorption removed 90% of the organic compounds from ROC. In addition, GAC adsorption and acid pretreatment of ROC improved the net water permeate flux by 17% when an FO membrane was used in the NF system. Acid treatment (by bringing the pH down to 5) helped to remove inorganic ions. Therefore, the resultant permeate can be recycled back to the RO water reclamation plant to improve its efficiency.

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