Pilot study of emerging low-energy seawater reverse osmosis desalination technologies for high-salinity, high-temperature, and high-turbidity seawater

Jungbin Kim, Seungkwan Hong

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The increasing impact of climate change has worsened drought conditions, leading to a surge in the demand for seawater desalination. However, current seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination technologies are not energy-efficient for handling the high-salinity, high-temperature, and high-turbidity seawater found in the Arabian Gulf. Therefore, a pilot-scale SWRO desalination plant was established to evaluate the new desalination technologies. The pilot plant tested high-performance SWRO membranes, meshed tube filtration (MTF) as a low-energy pretreatment for the high turbidity induced by algal blooms, and membrane capacitive deionization (MCDI) to improve permeate quality. The high-performance SWRO membrane demonstrated exceptional salt rejection and produced permeate quality in the range of 250–455 mg/L from the feed with salinities of 47,500–53,500 mg/L. MTF was effective in controlling turbidity, and the energy consumption was reduced by 77 % compared to the existing pretreatment process. Furthermore, MCDI exhibited similar levels of energy efficiency as brackish water reverse osmosis and may have the potential for future deployment by enhancing process development. Based on the pilot plant results, it is expected that a 100,000–200,000 m3/d SWRO desalination plant will have a specific energy consumption of 3.11–3.13 kWh/m3 for final product water quality at or below 200 mg/L.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116871
JournalDesalination
Volume565
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute (KEITI) through Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program ( 1485017292 ) funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment (MOE). This work was also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. NRF-2021R1A5A1032433 ) and supported by MOE through Human Resource Development Program for Carbon Neutrality .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Arabian Gulf
  • Low energy
  • Membrane capacitive deionization
  • Meshed tube filtration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Seawater desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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