Comparison of Nanofiltration with Reverse Osmosis in Reclaiming Tertiary Treated Municipal Wastewater for Irrigation Purposes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Membranes, 2021, 11, pp. 1-13
Issue Date:
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This study investigates the performance of reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) for the reclamation of ultra-filtered treated sewage effluent (TSE) for irrigation of food crops. RO and NF technologies were evaluated at different applied pressures, the performance of each technology was evaluated in terms of water flux, recovery rate, specific energy consumption and quality of permeate. It was found that the permeate from the reverse osmosis (RO) process complied with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standards at applied pressures between 10 bar and 18 bar. At an applied pressure of 20 bar the permeate quality did not comply with irrigation water standards in terms of chloride, sodium and calcium concentration. It was found that the nanofiltration process was not suitable for the reclamation of wastewater as the concentration of chloride, sodium and calcium exceeded the allowable limits at all applied pressures. In the reverse osmosis process, the highest recovery rate was 36% achieved at an applied pressure of 16 bar. The specific energy consumption at this applied pressure was 0.56 kWh/m3. The lowest specific energy of 0.46 kWh/m3 was achieved at an applied pressure of 12 bar with a water recovery rate of 32.7%.
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