Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water treatment technology that is used in a wide range of industries. In reverse osmosis, a pressure that is higher than the osmotic pressure, is applied to force feedwater through a semipermeable membrane. The RO membrane is designed to allow water to pass through, while solutes are prevented from passing the membrane. This technology can be used for the treatment of surface water (e.g. rivers, lakes, and seawater), groundwater (fresh and brackish), and effluents that have first been treated in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Environmental requirements and the scarcity of water are both conditions that stimulate the increased use of reverse osmosis in multiple industries.
A major problem when using this technology is fouling of the spiral wound RO membranes. This is an important cause of diminished productivity and increasing operational costs. RO membrane fouling is caused by organic material, particles, and biological growth (biofouling) in the reverse osmosis system. Especially spacer clogging due to biofouling and particulate fouling are problematic in current water treatment plants, where membranes are housed in series in horizontally positioned pressure vessels. Fouling of the RO membranes requires frequent cleaning, which is expensive and limits the lifetime of membranes.
Solutions to reduce the need for RO membrane cleaning mainly focus on adding expensive extra pretreatment, like Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration and Granular Activated Carbon Filtration. Cleaning the membranes on the other hand, usually involves an intensive chemical cleaning regime and the use of biocides. Eventually membranes can become irreversibly fouled, in which case replacement of the RO membrane is the only solution.
BiAqua Phosphate Removal Technology (PRT™) uses phosphate limitation as a method to control biofouling. As phosphate is a vital nutrient for bacteria, by reducing phosphate levels below 1-2 ppb, bacterial growth is prevented. In recent tests the application of BiaAqua PRT™ was tested as pretreatment of spiral wound RO membranes. Our membrane fouling simulator (MFS) experiments showed that the low phosphate concentrations (<1 ppb) in the feedwater, which are achieved with BiAqua PRT™, effectively restrict biomass accumulation and the related pressure drop increase along.the membrane elements, even at high substrate (organic carbon) concentrations.
Therefore, BiAqua PRT™ is the ideal solution to prevent biofouling, thus preserving RO membranes while saving on expensive membrane pretreatment and chemical cleaning. With BiAqua PRT™, the lifetime of RO membranes is extended by more than 10 times the original lifespan. Contact us today and discover how BiAqua PRT™ can reduce your operational costs.
28-05-2015 Vacancy: Process Field Engineer
14-10-2013 BiAqua will be present at Aquatech 2013
6-9-2013 BiAqua and WLN form partnership to develop PRT technology
13-9-2012 BiAqua in Artemis top 50!
1-7-2012 Visit BiAqua at the SIWW'2012
7-05-12 BiAqua presents at DSM Webinar on outsourcing development for industry ingredients
29-03-12 BiAqua founding father wins Lee Kuan Yew Water prize
15-03-11 Biaqua Ferritin validated for its adsorption capacity to remove > 99.95% of 32P (i.e. < 1 ppb)
31-08-09 Icos Capital invests in TU Delft water spin-off
31-08-09 Icos Capital investeert in watervinding TU Delft