Integrated submerged membrane distillation-adsorption system for rubidium recovery

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Separation and Purification Technology, 2019, 218 pp. 146 - 155
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) brine management is essential for desalination. Improving brine recovery rate with resource recovery can enhance the overall desalination process. In this study, an integrated submerged membrane distillation (S-MD) with adsorption (granular potassium copper hexacyanoferrate (KCuFC)) was evaluated for improving water recovery from brine while extracting valuable Rb. The thermal S-MD process (55 °C) with a continuous supply of Rb-rich SWRO brine enabled Rb to be concentrated (99% rejection) while producing fresh water. Concentrated Rb in thermal condition enhanced Rb extraction by granular KCuFC. An optimum dose (0.24 g/L) KCuFC was identified based on 98% Rb mass adsorption (9.78 mg as Rb). The integrated submerged MD-adsorption system was able to achieve more than 85% water recovery and Rb extraction in continuous feed supply (in two cycles). Ca in SWRO brine resulted in CaSO4 deposition onto the membrane and surface of KCuFC, reducing recovery rate and Rb adsorption. MD water recovery significantly improved upon Ca removal while achieving a total of 6.65 mg of Rb extraction. In comparing the performance of different KCuFC forms (granular, particle and powder), the particle form of KCuFC exhibited 10–47% higher capacity in terms of total adsorbed Rb mass and adsorption rate.
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