Advanced coagulation with liquid ferrate as SWRO desalination pretreatment during severe algal bloom. Process performance, environmental impact, and cost analysis

Abdullah H. Alshahri, Mattia Giagnorio, Abdullah H.A. Dehwah, M. Obaid, Thomas M. Missimer, Tor Ove Leiknes, Noreddine Ghaffour, Luca Fortunato*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Harmful algal bloom (HABs) events represent a major operational challenge for seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants, leading to severe membrane fouling, increased chemical consumption and plant shutdowns. Current pretreatment practice applying conventional coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation (CFS) with ferric chloride has shown limited capability in reducing seawater fouling potential during HABs events. The use of in-situ generated liquid ferrate (Fe(VI)) has recently been proposed for CFS pretreatment due to its capability of acting simultaneously as a coagulant, oxidant, and disinfectant. In this study, the use of ferric chloride (conventional coagulation) was compared to liquid ferrate (advanced coagulation) during HABs events, in terms of process performance, life-cycle assessment (LCA) and cost analysis. Results show that a 10 times lower concentration of Fe salt was required in advanced coagulation compared to conventional coagulation to achieve a similar performance in terms of turbidity and TOC removal. Using liquid ferrate also resulted in a higher total ATP removal (>99%) and lower dissolved Fe concentration. The advanced coagulation reduced dry sludge production by 88%, resulting in a significant decrease in environmental impacts and operational costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115864
JournalDesalination
Volume537
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported in this paper was supported by funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. Authors extend their gratitude to the Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC) staff for their support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Advanced oxidation
  • Coagulation
  • Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Seawater desalination
  • Seawater reverse osmosis pretreatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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