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Open AccessArticle

Assessing Pretreatment Effectiveness for Particulate, Organic and Biological Fouling in a Full-Scale SWRO Desalination Plant

1
Water Management Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
2
Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, The Netherlands
3
The International Water Research Institute, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150, Morocco
4
SUEZ International, 183 Ave du 18 Juin 1940, 92500 Rueil-Malmaison, France
5
Promega Corporation, 2800 Woods Hollow Road, Madison, WI 53711, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Masaru Kurihara and Tae-Hyun Bae
Membranes 2021, 11(3), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11030167
Received: 9 February 2021 / Revised: 18 February 2021 / Accepted: 24 February 2021 / Published: 27 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seawater Reverse Osmosis Desalination)
In this study, the removal of particulate, organic and biological fouling potential was investigated in the two-stage dual media filtration (DMF) pretreatment of a full-scale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant. Moreover, the removal of fouling potential in two-stage DMF (DMF pretreatment) was compared with the removal in two-stage DMF installed after dissolved air floatation (DAF) (DAF-DMF pretreatment). For this purpose, the silt density index (SDI), modified fouling index (MFI), bacterial growth potential (BGP), organic fractions and microbial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) were monitored in the pretreatment processes of two full-scale SWRO plants. Particulate fouling potential was well controlled through the two stages of DMF with significant removal of SDI15 (>80%), MFI0.45 (94%) and microbial ATP (>95%). However, lower removal of biological/organic fouling potential (24–41%) was observed due to frequent chlorination (weekly) of the pretreatment, resulting in low biological activity in the DMFs. Therefore, neutralizing chlorine before media filtration is advised, rather than after, as is the current practice in many full-scale SWRO plants. Comparing overall removal in the DAF-DMF pretreatment to that of the DMF pretreatment showed that DAF improved the removal of biological/organic fouling potential, in which the removal of BGP and biopolymers increased by 40% and 16%, respectively. Overall, monitoring ATP and BGP during the pretreatment processes, particularly in DMF, would be beneficial to enhance biological degradation and lower biofouling potential in SWRO feed water. View Full-Text
Keywords: desalination; fouling potential; seawater reverse osmosis; pretreatment; seawater monitoring desalination; fouling potential; seawater reverse osmosis; pretreatment; seawater monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abushaban, A.; Salinas-Rodriguez, S.G.; Pastorelli, D.; Schippers, J.C.; Mondal, S.; Goueli, S.; Kennedy, M.D. Assessing Pretreatment Effectiveness for Particulate, Organic and Biological Fouling in a Full-Scale SWRO Desalination Plant. Membranes 2021, 11, 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11030167

AMA Style

Abushaban A, Salinas-Rodriguez SG, Pastorelli D, Schippers JC, Mondal S, Goueli S, Kennedy MD. Assessing Pretreatment Effectiveness for Particulate, Organic and Biological Fouling in a Full-Scale SWRO Desalination Plant. Membranes. 2021; 11(3):167. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11030167

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abushaban, Almotasembellah; Salinas-Rodriguez, Sergio G.; Pastorelli, Delia; Schippers, Jan C.; Mondal, Subhanjan; Goueli, Said; Kennedy, Maria D. 2021. "Assessing Pretreatment Effectiveness for Particulate, Organic and Biological Fouling in a Full-Scale SWRO Desalination Plant" Membranes 11, no. 3: 167. https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11030167

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