Membrane fouling is a major hindrance to wastewater treatment utilizing reverse osmosis, both in terms of operation and cost efficiency. Pretreatment, on the other hand, is the most realistic strategy to minimize this before reverse osmosis.On a laboratory scale, activated carbon is widely used to purify organic molecule solutions that contain undesired coloured organic contaminants.
What is the role of RO Pretreatment?
Pretreatment's major goal is to make the RO's feed water compatible with the membrane. By reducing fouling, scaling, and membrane deterioration, pretreatment is necessary to improve the efficiency and life expectancy of the membrane elements.
What is the role of Activated Carbon in pretreatment of RO Membrane?
The adsorptive technology activated carbon filtration (ACF) selectively eliminates hydrophobic organicsolutes from water sources. Because the whole spectrum of solute hydrophobicity is covered, RO and subsequent activated carbon filtration appear to be complimentary, and their combination should result in the removal of a considerable portion of emergent organic micropollutants.
Pretreatment effects on membrane filtration performance
During the filtration process, suspended solids, colloidal impurities, bacteria and virus in the water will adhere to the membrane surface, contaminating the membrane, and the trapped impurities will quickly produce concentration polarisation on the membrane surface; at the same time, part of the water will be lost.
Microorganisms and their metabolites in the water body will attach to the membrane surface, and small particles will penetrate the membrane pores and clog the water channels. All of these, as well as the numerous influencing elements stated above, will alter the membrane's filtration performance.
As a result, the membrane water supply must be carefully prepared to eliminate as much dissolved organic matter from the water as possible, or else the water's state will change and the membrane performance will be reduced. Pollution is reduced, membrane filtration performance is improved, service life is extended, and water treatment expenses are reduced.
Biological pretreatment, ozone pretreatment, activated carbon (granular carbon GAC or powdered carbon PAC) pretreatment, and coagulation pretreatment are only a few of the options.
Effect of pretreatment with activated carbon on RO membrane filtering performance
To achieve the goal of reducing filtration resistance, increasing permeation flux, and increasing the rate of organic matter removal, activated carbon and other porous adsorbents with a large specific surface area are used to adsorb the soluble organic matter that can pollute the membrane in the raw water. The combination of powder activated carbon and membrane can effectively improve the removal effect of organic matter.
The effect of activated carbon on membrane filtration performance is that it absorbs a large amount of organic matter that can contaminate the membrane, reduce filtration resistance, and increases the membrane's permeable flux.
Almost all solutes have relatively high rejection ratings in RO. Hydrophilic solutes with a negative value and a low molecular weight, as well as hydrophobic solutes with a low molecular weight, have lower rejection values. Even with the brief contact periods employed, the removal effectiveness of thesolutes by activated carbon filtration is extremely high.Because practically the whole spectrum of solute hydrophobicity is covered, RO and subsequent activated carbon filtration work together to remove a considerable portion of emerging organic micropollutants.
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