Developing a protocol to evaluate new-generation membranes for desalinating brackish groundwater

Manish Kumar, Samer Adham, William Pearce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In water-scarce regions, desalinating brackish groundwater can represent an important alternative resource for water utilities High-pressure membranes that use reverse osmosis and nanofiltration are recognized as a viable desalination technology. Although new membranes are being rapidly introduced into the market, there is no general, systematic protocol for evaluating their performance. Developing such a protocol will allow utilities to standardize membrane-screening procedures, ultimately benefiting the manufacturers as well as the utilities. This article pre sents a step-by-step approach to pilot-testing the new-generation membranes. The proposed steps are basic data collection, comparative pilot-testing, optimization pilot-testing, membrane autopsy, and feasibility analysis. The pilot-testing conducted according to this protocol showed clear performance improvements between an established membrane and a new-generation membrane. The testing also demonstrated that the new membranes have greatly improved operating pressures, which could lead to substantial operational cost savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-132+12
JournalJournal / American Water Works Association
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

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