Removal of polar organic micropollutants by mixed-matrix reverse osmosis membranes
KAUST DepartmentBiological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Water Desalination and Reuse Research Center (WDRC)
Online Publication Date2020-01-30
Print Publication Date2020-04
Embargo End Date2022-01-30
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/661422
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AbstractMixed-matrix reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have been proposed to outperform standard polyamide thin-film composite (TFC) membranes for the production of high-quality drinking water. We investigated the passage of 30 persistent polar micropollutants (MPs) in a pilot-scale RO system equipped with a 4-inch zeolite-embedded thin-film nanocomposite (TFN) membrane fed with raw riverbank filtrate. Additionally, MPs passage was investigated in a bench-scale system equipped with a 1.8-inch aquaporin-embedded RO membrane. Benchmark TFC membranes were used in both systems. In pilot-scale RO, MPs passage did not exceed 15% and 6% with the TFC and TFN membranes, respectively. In bench-scale RO, MPs passage values of up to 65% and 44% were quantified for the aquaporin and TFC membranes, respectively, suggesting a more open structure of the 1.8-inch modules. In both RO systems, uncharged polar MPs displayed the highest passage values. While neutral MPs of molecular weight lower than 150 Da were better removed by the TFN membrane in pilot-scale RO and by the TFC membrane in bench-scale RO, no substantial differences between passage values of other MPs were observed. Overall, this indicated that nanocomposite and biomimetic membranes are as effective as TFC membranes of the same module size in preventing breakthrough of polar organics.
CitationAlbergamo, V., Blankert, B., van der Meer, W. G. J., de Voogt, P., & Cornelissen, E. R. (2020). Removal of polar organic micropollutants by mixed-matrix reverse osmosis membranes. Desalination, 479, 114337. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2020.114337
SponsorsThis study was conducted with the ECROS project and was funded by the drinking water company Oasen (Gouda, The Netherlands). Aquaporin A/S (Kongens Lyngby, Denmark) is greatly acknowledged for donating the 1.8-inch biomimetic RO membrane module. Harmen van der Laan, Evgeni Alaminov, Behailu Wolde, Eva Kocbek and Chris Bierman, are acknowledge for assistance with the RO pilot filtration experiments at Oasen. Willem-Jan Knibbe (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) is acknowledged for helpful discussions about the results obtained in this study. Daniel Zahn and Thomas Knepper from the University of Applied Science Fresenius (Idstein, Germany) are acknowledged for donating the TFMSA analytical standard. Rick Helmus (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is acknowledged for support with setting up the analytical method for TFMSA. Danny Harmsen is acknowledged for assisting with setting up the bench-scale RO system at KWR and for performing the pH measurements.