Increasing conversion in membrane filtration systems using a desupersaturation unit to prevent scaling

Ingrida Bremere, Maria D. Kennedy, Amayo Johnson, Rani Van Emmerik, Geert Jan Witkamp, Jan C. Schippers

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A desupersaturation unit (DU), placed between the stages of either RO or NF systems is aimed at reducing the degree of supersaturation in the concentrate stream thus preventing membrane scaling in the last stage of a membrane filtration system while allowing conversion to be maximized up to design limits (>90%). Barium sulfate desupersaturation in an up-flow fixed bed reactor was demonstrated for ca. 200 h (Concentrate A). However, barium removal in the DU was shown to be source dependent and early break-through of the DU occurred with Concentrate B after ca. 30 h. Calculations showed that barium sulfate deposition in the DU was affected by natural organic matter (NOM). Blocking of seed crystal surface by rapid adsorption of certain NOM fractions hindered crystal growth and was believed to be the main reason for break-through in the DU. Recycling of these naturally occurring organic molecules as 'natural antiscalants' to maximize the conversion of RO (NF) systems may be possible if they can be isolated and characterized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-204
Number of pages6
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 20 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1998 Conference on Membranes in Drinking and Industrial Water Production. Part 2 (of 3) - Amsterdam, Neth
Duration: Sep 21 1998Sep 24 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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