Foulant Identification and Performance Evaluation of Antiscalants in Increasing the Recovery of a Reverse Osmosis System Treating Anaerobic Groundwater

Muhammad Nasir Mangal, Sergio G. Salinas-Rodriguez, Jos Dusseldorp, Bastiaan Blankert, Victor A. Yangali-Quintanilla, Antoine J. B. Kemperman, Jan C. Schippers, Walter G. J. van der Meer, Maria D. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objectives of this study are to assess the performance of antiscalants in increasing the recovery (≥85%) of a reverse osmosis (RO) plant treating anaerobic groundwater (GW) in Kamerik (the Netherlands), and to identify scalants/foulant that may limit RO recovery. Five different commercially available antiscalants were compared on the basis of their manufacturer-recommended dose. Their ability to increase the recovery from 80% to a target of 85% was evaluated in pilot-scale measurements with anaerobic GW and in once-through lab-scale RO tests with synthetic (artificial) feedwater. A membrane autopsy was performed on the tail element(s) with decreased permeability. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicated that calcium phosphate was the primary scalant causing permeability decline at 85% recovery and limiting RO recovery. The addition of antiscalant had no positive effect on RO operation and scaling prevention, since at 85% recovery, permeability of the last stage decreased with all five antiscalants, while no decrease in permeability was observed without the addition of antiscalant at 80% recovery. In addition, in lab-scale RO tests executed with synthetic feed water containing identical calcium and phosphate concentrations as the anaerobic GW, calcium phosphate scaling occurred both with and without antiscalant at 85% recovery, while at 80% recovery without antiscalant, calcium phosphate did not precipitate in the RO element. In brief, calcium phosphate appeared to be the main scalant limiting RO recovery, and antiscalants were unable to prevent calcium phosphate scaling or to achieve a recovery of 85% or higher.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290
JournalMembranes
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science

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