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Title: Prevention and management of silica scaling in membrane distillation using pH adjustment

Abstract

Membrane scaling by silica is a major challenge in desalination, particularly for inland desalination of brackish groundwater or geothermal resources, which often contain high concentrations of silica and dissolved solids. Adjustment of feed pH may reduce silica scaling risk, which is important for inland facilities that operate at high water recoveries to reduce brine disposal costs. However, water recovery of reverse osmosis is also limited due to increased osmotic pressure with feed water concentration. Membrane distillation (MD) is a thermally driven membrane desalination technique that is not limited by increased osmotic pressure of the feed. In this investigation, pH adjustment was tested as a strategy to reduce silica scaling risk in the MD process. With feed water pH less than 5 or higher than 10, scaling impacts were negligible at silica concentrations up to 600 mg/L. Scaling rates were highest at neutral pH between 6 and 8. Cleaning strategies were also explored to remove silica scale from membranes. Cleaning using NaOH solutions at pH higher than 11 to induce dissolution of silica scale was effective at temporarily restoring performance; however, some silica remained on membrane surfaces and scaling upon re-exposure to supersaturated silica concentrations occurred faster than with new membranes.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [1]
  1. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. US Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
  4. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Geothermal Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1429289
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1702745
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5500-71164
Journal ID: ISSN 0376-7388
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308; A16-0135
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Membrane Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 554; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0376-7388
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; membrane distillation; membrane scaling; membrane fouling; membrane cleaning; silica

Citation Formats

Bush, John A., Vanneste, Johan, Gustafson, Emily M., Waechter, Christopher A., Jassby, David, Turchi, Craig S., and Cath, Tzahi Y. Prevention and management of silica scaling in membrane distillation using pH adjustment. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2018.02.059.
Bush, John A., Vanneste, Johan, Gustafson, Emily M., Waechter, Christopher A., Jassby, David, Turchi, Craig S., & Cath, Tzahi Y. Prevention and management of silica scaling in membrane distillation using pH adjustment. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2018.02.059
Bush, John A., Vanneste, Johan, Gustafson, Emily M., Waechter, Christopher A., Jassby, David, Turchi, Craig S., and Cath, Tzahi Y. Tue . "Prevention and management of silica scaling in membrane distillation using pH adjustment". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.memsci.2018.02.059. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1429289.
@article{osti_1429289,
title = {Prevention and management of silica scaling in membrane distillation using pH adjustment},
author = {Bush, John A. and Vanneste, Johan and Gustafson, Emily M. and Waechter, Christopher A. and Jassby, David and Turchi, Craig S. and Cath, Tzahi Y.},
abstractNote = {Membrane scaling by silica is a major challenge in desalination, particularly for inland desalination of brackish groundwater or geothermal resources, which often contain high concentrations of silica and dissolved solids. Adjustment of feed pH may reduce silica scaling risk, which is important for inland facilities that operate at high water recoveries to reduce brine disposal costs. However, water recovery of reverse osmosis is also limited due to increased osmotic pressure with feed water concentration. Membrane distillation (MD) is a thermally driven membrane desalination technique that is not limited by increased osmotic pressure of the feed. In this investigation, pH adjustment was tested as a strategy to reduce silica scaling risk in the MD process. With feed water pH less than 5 or higher than 10, scaling impacts were negligible at silica concentrations up to 600 mg/L. Scaling rates were highest at neutral pH between 6 and 8. Cleaning strategies were also explored to remove silica scale from membranes. Cleaning using NaOH solutions at pH higher than 11 to induce dissolution of silica scale was effective at temporarily restoring performance; however, some silica remained on membrane surfaces and scaling upon re-exposure to supersaturated silica concentrations occurred faster than with new membranes.},
doi = {10.1016/j.memsci.2018.02.059},
journal = {Journal of Membrane Science},
number = C,
volume = 554,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:

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Cited by: 15 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Schematic of the MD system. Feed and distillate temperatures were monitored at the inlet and outlet of the flow cell and controlled by heat exchangers (HX). Conductivity was monitored in both the feed and distillate streams between the flow cell and tanks. The volume of the collected distillatemore » was measured using a pressure transducer installed on the bottom of the distillate tank. Feed concentration was controlled by periodically returning the collected distillate to feed tank using an automated solenoid valve.« less

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Works referencing / citing this record:

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