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Title: Fouling mitigation in reverse osmosis processes with 3D printed sinusoidal spacers
Authors: Koo, Jing Wee
Ho, Jia Shin
Tan, Yong Zen
Tan, Wen See
An, Jia
Zhang, Yi
Chua, Chee Kai
Chong, Tzyy Haur
Keywords: Engineering::Environmental engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Koo, J. W., Ho, J. S., Tan, Y. Z., Tan, W. S., An, J., Zhang, Y., Chua, C. K. & Chong, T. H. (2021). Fouling mitigation in reverse osmosis processes with 3D printed sinusoidal spacers. Water Research, 207, 117818-.
Journal: Water Research
Abstract: Feed spacers are an essential part of spiral wound modules for reverse osmosis (RO). They create flow channels between membrane sheets and manipulate hydrodynamic conditions to control membrane fouling. In this work, additive manufacturing (Polyjet) was used to print novel sinusoidal spacers with wavy axial filaments connected by perpendicular (ST) or slanted (SL) transverse filaments. When tested with 2 g/L NaCl solution, conventional and SL spacers had similar flux while the ST spacer had about 5-7% lower flux. The pressure losses for ST and SL spacers increased by up to 3 folds depending on the flow condition. In the colloidal silica fouling and biofouling tests, the sinusoidal spacers showed lower membrane permeability decrease of 46% for ST, 41% for SL vs 56% for conventional and 26% for ST, 22% for SL vs 33% for conventional, respectively. Optical coherence tomography images from colloidal silica fouling and confocal images from biofouling tests revealed that fouling patterns were closely associated with the local hydrodynamic conditions. Overall, sinusoidal spacers showed promising results in controlling membrane fouling, but there is potential for further optimizations to reduce channel pressure loss.
ISSN: 0043-1354
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117818
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Interdisciplinary Graduate School (IGS) 
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering 
Research Centres: Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute 
Singapore Membrane Technology Centre 
Singapore Centre for 3D Printing 
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:CEE Journal Articles
IGS Journal Articles
MAE Journal Articles
NEWRI Journal Articles
SC3DP Journal Articles
SCBE Journal Articles

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