Next Article in Journal
Removing Organic Matter and Nutrients from Swine Wastewater after Anaerobic–Aerobic Treatment
Next Article in Special Issue
Efficient Use of Water Resources in the Steel Industry
Previous Article in Journal
The Free-Swimming Device Leakage Detection in Plastic Water-filled Pipes through Tuning the Wavelet Transform to the Underwater Acoustic Signals
Previous Article in Special Issue
Membrane Bioreactor-Based Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saudi Arabia: Reduction of Viral Diversity, Load, and Infectious Capacity
Article Menu
Issue 10 (October) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2017, 9(10), 730; doi:10.3390/w9100730

Investigation of Algal Biotoxin Removal during SWRO Desalination through a Materials Flow Analysis

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Water Supply through Desalination and Wastewater Reuse)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1665 KB, uploaded 23 September 2017]   |  


The operation of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination facilities has become challenged by the increasing frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs). The efficiency of algal toxins removal during SWRO and pretreatment processes has critical human health implications. Therefore, a probabilistic materials flow analysis (pMFA) was developed to predict the removal of algal toxins in source water by various pretreatment configurations and operations during SWRO desalination. The results demonstrated that an appreciable quantity of toxins exists in the SWRO permeate (ng/L–µg/L levels), the backwash of pretreatment, and final brine rejects (µg/L–mg/L levels). Varying the pretreatment train configuration resulted in statistically significant differences in toxin removals, where higher removal efficiencies were evidenced in systems employing microfiltration/ultrafiltration (MF/UF) over granular media filtration (GMF). However, this performance depended on operational practices including coagulant addition and transmembrane pressures of MF/UF systems. Acute human health risks during lifetime exposure to algal toxins from ingestion of desalinated water were benign, with margins of safety ranging from 100 to 4000. This study highlights the importance of pretreatment steps during SWRO operation in the removal of algal toxins for managing marine HABs. View Full-Text
Keywords: harmful algal blooms; marine algal toxins; SWRO pretreatment; human health risks harmful algal blooms; marine algal toxins; SWRO pretreatment; human health risks

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Manheim, D.C.; Jiang, S.C. Investigation of Algal Biotoxin Removal during SWRO Desalination through a Materials Flow Analysis. Water 2017, 9, 730.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top