Assessing Pretreatment Effectiveness for Particulate, Organic and Biological Fouling in a Full-Scale SWRO Desalination Plant.

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Output type: Journal article

UM6P affiliated Publication?: Yes

Author list: Abushaban A, Salinas-Rodriguez SG, Pastorelli D, Schippers JC, Mondal S, Goueli S, Kennedy MD

Publisher: MDPI

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Membranes (2077-0375)

Journal acronym: Membranes (Basel)

Volume number: 11

Issue number: 3

ISSN: 2077-0375

eISSN: 2077-0375

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In this study, the removal of particulate, organic and biological fouling potential was investigated in the two-stage dual media filtration (DMF) pretreatment of a full-scale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant. Moreover, the removal of fouling potential in two-stage DMF (DMF pretreatment) was compared with the removal in two-stage DMF installed after dissolved air floatation (DAF) (DAF-DMF pretreatment). For this purpose, the silt density index (SDI), modified fouling index (MFI), bacterial growth potential (BGP), organic fractions and microbial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were monitored in the pretreatment processes of two full-scale SWRO plants. Particulate fouling potential was well controlled through the two stages of DMF with significant removal of SDI15 (>80%), MFI0.45 (94%) and microbial ATP (>95%). However, lower removal of biological/organic fouling potential (24-41%) was observed due to frequent chlorination (weekly) of the pretreatment, resulting in low biological activity in the DMFs. Therefore, neutralizing chlorine before media filtration is advised, rather than after, as is the current practice in many full-scale SWRO plants. Comparing overall removal in the DAF-DMF pretreatment to that of the DMF pretreatment showed that DAF improved the removal of biological/organic fouling potential, in which the removal of BGP and biopolymers increased by 40% and 16%, respectively. Overall, monitoring ATP and BGP during the pretreatment processes, particularly in DMF, would be beneficial to enhance biological degradation and lower biofouling potential in SWRO feed water.


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Last updated on 2021-12-05 at 23:19