Part 2: Performance of UF and MF Membrane Pretreatment in SWRO Applications
By Jonathan A. Dietrich, P.E.
Part 1 of this article series examined the value ultrafiltration (UF) and microfiltration (MF) processes can bring to seawater desalination. In this article, performance of the individual membrane types are compared; and feedwater constituents of material significance pose operating challenges that are not location-dependent, and can lead to unexpected results. The first article reported on a study on desalination using UF and MF for pretreatment at six projects in Texas, California, and Florida. The effect of red tide and total suspended solids (TSS) were also considered. In five projects, the membranes were in front of a SWRO. Part 2 will evaluate tested operating conditions, including issues such as raw water characterization, and the effect of red tide or zooplankton blooms on pretreatment and seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) processes.
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