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Development of new filtration processes for water reuse

The scope of this project is the development of a new ultrafiltration reverse osmosis filtration process for water reuse with an emphasis on organic and biofouling control. This goal will be addressed using an integrated process including enhanced uf and ro membranes.

Water scarcity is of increasing importance in many regions of the world. Israel and Spain both belongs to regions with high to extreme water stress. Besides reduction of consumption and substitution with water of lower grade, the regeneration of the water quality, i.e. the treatment and reuse of water is a promising approach to achieve a more sustainable water management. The scope of this project is the development of a new ultrafiltration (UF)/ reverse osmosis (RO) filtration process for water reuse, with an emphasis on organic and biofouling control. This goal will be addressed using an integrated process including enhanced UF and RO membranes and an innovative biosensor. The investigation of the innovative process for water reuse will be performed under realistic conditions with secondary effluent in an area with extreme water scarcity – in Israel and with secondary effluent in an area with high water stress – in Spain. The integrated process will include three main components: enhanced ultrafiltration, enhanced monitoring device and enhanced fouling resistant reverse osmosis elements. Therefore, the ttwo following key aspects will be investigated in the project listed in the following and described more in detail below: 1) Combination of ultrafiltration with coagulation or adsorption for an improved removal of organics 2) Innovative reverse osmosis elements for higher resistance against biofouling Detailed description of aspect 1: Ultrafiltration membranes alone reject due to the pore size only a small portion of organics. One of the key scopes of this project is to investigate an enhanced removal of organics by operating ultrafiltration as a hybrid process. The goal of this process is to improve organic matter removal by UF in order to: a) Minimize organic fouling and biofouling in RO membranes downstream. b) Use UF tertiary effluent when RO is not required/available. The development includes implementation of two new process configurations with the new DOWTM Ultrafiltration SFP-2880XP modules: o Operation of UF process in combination with in-line coagulation. This process configuration will be developed and tested both in the GWTC, Tarragona and in Israel on-site in market development units with DOWTM Ultrafiltration SFP-2880XP modules. o Operation of UF process in combination with dosage of powdered activated carbon. This process configuration will be developed and tested in Israel on-site in a market development unit with DOWTM Ultrafiltration SFP-2880XP modules. Detailed description of aspect 2: Biofouling in reverse osmosis elements is one of the most important draw-backs for water reuse applications. This project will study the effectiveness of innovative fouling resistant reverse osmosis elements with an improved modules design with innovative feed spacer design. These elements target a more stable operation, at lower feed pressure drop, lower biofouling growth rate and consequently lower cleaning frequency. The elements will be studied on-site with wastewater treatment plant effluent in Israel in a two-stage-configuration containing 35 eight inch reverse osmosis elements. Hence the results from the study will be of high representativeness.
Acronym: 
DEFOULING
Project ID: 
11 147
Start date: 
01-11-2016
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
510 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Membrane / Filtration technology
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.