Spacer geometry and particle deposition in spiral wound membrane feed channels

A.I. Radu, M.S.H. van Steen, Johannes S. Vrouwenvelder, Mark C.M. van Loosdrecht, C. Picioreanu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Deposition of microspheres mimicking bacterial cells was studied experimentally and with a numerical model in feed spacer membrane channels, as used in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane systems. In-situ microscopic observations in membrane fouling simulators revealed formation of specific particle deposition patterns for different diamond and ladder feed spacer orientations. A three-dimensional numerical model combining fluid flow with a Lagrangian approach for particle trajectory calculations could describe very well the in-situ observations on particle deposition in flow cells. Feed spacer geometry, positioning and cross-flow velocity sensitively influenced the particle transport and deposition patterns. The deposition patterns were not influenced by permeate production. This combined experimental-modeling approach could be used for feed spacer geometry optimization studies for reduced (bio)fouling. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-176
Number of pages17
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01


Dive into the research topics of 'Spacer geometry and particle deposition in spiral wound membrane feed channels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this