Thin film composite hollow fibre forward osmosis membrane module for the desalination of brackish groundwater for fertigation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Desalination, 2015, 364 pp. 108 - 118
Issue Date:
2015-05-05
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. The performance of recently developed polyamide thin film composite hollow fibre forward osmosis (HFFO) membrane module was assessed for the desalination of brackish groundwater for fertigation. Four different fertilisers were used as draw solution (DS) with real BGW from the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Membrane charge and its electrostatic interactions with ions played a significant role in the performance of the HFFO module using fertiliser as DS. Negatively charged polyamide layer promotes sorption of multivalent cations such as Ca 2+ enhancing ion flux and membrane scaling. Inorganic scaling occurred both on active layer and inside the support layer depending on the types of fertiliser DS used resulting in severe flux decline and this study therefore underscores the importance of selecting suitable fertilisers for the fertiliser drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) process. Water flux under active layer DS membrane orientation was about twice as high as the other orientation indicating the need to further optimise the membrane support structure formation. Water flux slightly improved at higher crossflow rates due to enhanced mass transfer on the fibre lumen side. At 45% pac king density, HFFO could have three times more membrane area and four times more volumetric flux output for an equivalent 8040 cellulose triacetate flat-sheet FO membrane module.
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