Pilot study for the treatment of sodium and fluoride-contaminated groundwater by using high-pressure membrane systems

Xiaomao Wang, Hongwei Yang, Zhenyu Li, Shaoxia Yang, Yuefeng Xie

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6 Scopus citations


High-pressure membrane process is one of the cost-effective technologies for the treatment of groundwater containing excessive dissolved solids. This paper reports a pilot study in treating a typical groundwater in Huaibei Plain containing excessive sodium, sulfate and fluoride ions. Three membrane systems were set up and two brands of reverse osmosis (RO), four low-pressure RO (LPRO) and one tight nanofiltration (NF) membranes were tested under this pilot study. An apparent recovery rate at about 75% was adopted. Cartridge filtration, in combination with dosing antiscalent, was not sufficient to reduce the fouling potential of the raw water. All RO and LPRO systems (except for the two severely affected by membrane fouling) demonstrated similar rejection ratios of the conductivity (∼98.5%), sodium (∼98.5%) and fluoride (∼99%). Membrane fouling substantially reduced the rejection performance of the fouled membranes. The tight NF membrane also had a good rejection on conductivity (95%), sodium (94%) and fluoride (95%). All membranes rejected sulfate ion almost completely (more than 99%). The electricity consumptions for the RO, LPRO and NF systems were 1.74, 1.10 and 0.72 kWh·m−3 treated water, respectively. The estimated treatment costs by using typical RO, LPRO and tight NF membrane systems were 1.21, 0.98 and 0.96 CNY·m−3 finished water, respectively. A treatment process consisting of either LPRO or tight NF facilities following multi-media filtration was suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

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