Scaling resistant RO/NF membrane

Project ID: 1855
Principal Investigator: Saied Delagah
Research Topic: Desalination and Water Treatment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2018, 2019 and 2020
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can Reclamation's patented membrane technology be enhanced to further increase water recovery in highly saline applications, such as concentrate management? Can a scaling-resistant membrane be made and will its use decrease concentrate volume and increase economical water recovery? What are the economic benefits to these improved membranes for high recovery applications?

Need and Benefit

Although technological advances have greatly enhanced the operation and performance of the spiral membrane elements, several deficiencies still exist that contribute to fouling and scale formation (build up of precipitated salts on the membrane surface). Because of these deficiencies, large quantities of membrane elements have to be frequently replaced. Thus, the logistics and maintenance time associated with purchasing, transporting, and replacing membrane elements are substantial. In addition, costly pre and post-water treatment is required during the RO process to extend the life of the membrane. This project will combine Reclamation's patented chlorine resistant and fouling resistant membrane with nano-imprinting to significantly improve fouling and scaling resistance that will have enable RO to operate with higher efficiency. These improvements, once verified and demonstrated in this project, will reduce the cost of desalination and enable more widespread adoption of it, thereby helping to diversify and increase water supply portfolios.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20