Fouling Resilient Perforated Feed Spacers for Membrane Filtration
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Online Publication Date2018-04-24
Print Publication Date2018-09
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/627648
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe improvement of feed spacers with optimal geometry remains a key challenge for spiral-wound membrane systems in water treatment due to their impact on the hydrodynamic performance and fouling development. In this work, novel spacer designs are proposed by intrinsically modifying cylindrical filaments through perforations. Three symmetric perforated spacers (1-Hole, 2-Hole, and 3-Hole) were in-house 3D-printed and experimentally evaluated in terms of permeate flux, feed channel pressure drop and membrane fouling. Spacer performance is characterized and compared with standard no perforated (0-Hole) design under constant feed pressure and constant feed flow rate. Perforations in the spacer filaments resulted in significantly lowering the net pressure drop across the spacer filled channel. The 3-Hole spacer was found to have the lowest pressure drop (50% - 61%) compared to 0-Hole spacer for various average flow velocities. Regarding permeate flux production, the 0-Hole spacer produced 5.7 L.m-2.h-1 and 6.6 L.m-2.h-1 steady state flux for constant pressure and constant feed flow rate, respectively. The 1-Hole spacer was found to be the most efficient among the perforated spacers with 75% and 23% increase in permeate production at constant pressure and constant feed flow, respectively. Furthermore, membrane surface of 1-Hole spacer was found to be cleanest in terms of fouling, contributing to maintain higher permeate flux production. Hydrodynamic understanding of these perforated spacers is also quantified by performing Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). The performance enhancement of these perforated spacers is attributed to the formation of micro-jets in the spacer cell that aided in producing enough unsteadiness/turbulence to clean the membrane surface and mitigate fouling phenomena. In the case of 1-Hole spacer, the unsteadiness intensity at the outlet of micro-jets and the shear stress fluctuations created inside the cells are higher than those observed with other perforated spacers, resulting in the cleanest membrane surface.
CitationKerdi S, Qamar A, Vrouwenvelder JS, Ghaffour N (2018) Fouling Resilient Perforated Feed Spacers for Membrane Filtration. Water Research. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2018.04.049.
SponsorsThe research reported in this paper was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. The authors acknowledge help, assistance and support from the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) staff and KAUST Supercomputing Laboratory. The authors would also like to thank Xavier Pita, scientific illustrator at KAUST, for producing the graphical abstract.
- Development and characterization of 3D-printed feed spacers for spiral wound membrane systems.
- Authors: Siddiqui A, Farhat N, Bucs SS, Linares RV, Picioreanu C, Kruithof JC, van Loosdrecht MC, Kidwell J, Vrouwenvelder JS
- Issue date: 2016 Mar 15
- Impact of organic nutrient load on biomass accumulation, feed channel pressure drop increase and permeate flux decline in membrane systems.
- Authors: Bucs SS, Valladares Linares R, van Loosdrecht MC, Kruithof JC, Vrouwenvelder JS
- Issue date: 2014 Dec 15
- Energy efficient 3D printed column type feed spacer for membrane filtration.
- Authors: Ali SM, Qamar A, Kerdi S, Phuntsho S, Vrouwenvelder JS, Ghaffour N, Shon HK
- Issue date: 2019 Nov 1
- Impacts of non-uniform filament feed spacers characteristics on the hydraulic and anti-fouling performances in the spacer-filled membrane channels: Experiment and numerical simulation.
- Authors: Lin WC, Shao RP, Wang XM, Huang X
- Issue date: 2020 Oct 15
- Porosity of spacer-filled channels in spiral-wound membrane systems: Quantification methods and impact on hydraulic characterization.
- Authors: Siddiqui A, Lehmann S, Haaksman V, Ogier J, Schellenberg C, van Loosdrecht MCM, Kruithof JC, Vrouwenvelder JS
- Issue date: 2017 Aug 1