Evaluation of Hybrid Pulsed-Power Electromagnetic/Reverse Osmosis System

Project ID: 3195
Principal Investigator: Katherine Guerra
Research Topic: Desalination and Water Treatment
Priority Area Assignments: 2011 (Advanced Water Treatment)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2011
Keywords: None

Research Question

Preliminary research suggests that electromagnetic devices may reduce scaling and organic fouling in reverse osmosis membrane systems.

This research will address the following research questions:

What is the chemical/physical mechanism associated with scaling/fouling potential reduction when using an electromagnetic/reverse osmosis (EM/RO) system?

What is the best process configuration for the EM/RO system?

Should the EM device be placed on the feed or concentrate stream?

Should the EM device be placed on the pretreatment system?

Would more than one EM device be beneficial?

Need and Benefit

Currently, scale formation is one of the largest issues for reverse osmosis desalination of brackish water. The Dolphin, if successful, will prove to reduce scale formation in RO systems. The benefits of reduced scale formation include the following:

1. A decrease in scale inhibitor chemical requirements for RO systems

2. An increase in feedwater recovery, which equates to a smaller volume of concentrate for disposal

Both of these benefits are in line with the National Research Council report on desalination and support the strategic research agenda to lower the cost of desalination.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Not Reviewed

The following documents were not reviewed. Statements made in these documents are those of the authors. The findings have not been verified.

Pulsed-power electromagnetic effects on crystallization in reverse osmosis systems (final, PDF, 2.1MB)
By Katherine Guerra
Report completed on May 29, 2014

The purpose of this project is to understand how the PP-EM fields affect scaling in RO systems. Bench scale testing will be conducted to measure differences in RO performance with and without PP-EM. Membrane material characterization will be performed in order to characterize the structure of precipitated salt on RO membranes with and without PP-EM fields.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20