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Secondary treated domestic wastewater in reverse electrodialysis: What is the best pre-treatment?
Vanoppen, M.; van Vooren, T.; Gutierrez, L.; Roman, M.; Croué, L. J-P.; Verbeken, K.; Philips, J.; Verliefde, A.R.D. (2019). Secondary treated domestic wastewater in reverse electrodialysis: What is the best pre-treatment? Separation and Purification Technology 218: 25-42.
In: Separation and Purification Technology. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV: Amsterdam. ISSN 1383-5866; e-ISSN 1873-3794, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Reverse electrodialysis; Wastewater; Pre-treatment; Desalination

Authors  Top 
  • Croué, L. J-P.
  • Verbeken, K., more
  • Philips, J.
  • Verliefde, A.R.D., more

    Although Reverse Electrodialysis (RED) is most commonly known as a selective separation technology used for the production of sustainable energy, it can also serve as a valuable pre-desalination tool. By coupling RED to Reverse Osmosis (RO) for seawater desalination: (1) sustainable energy is produced in the RED process and (2) seawater is partially desalinated prior to RO thus, decreasing the energy demand. In this study, secondary-treated wastewater is proposed as the low salinity source in RED and suitable pre-treatment techniques for this effluent are investigated. Although it is generally accepted that RED is less prone to fouling than typical pressure driven membrane processes, results showed that pre-treatment is a key to ensure efficient operation of the wastewater-seawater RED. Both 100 µm filtration and rapid sand filtration proved to be suitable, with an increase in pressure drop of only 0.09–0.18 bar and a permselectivity decrease of only approximately 20% during 40 days of continuous operation. Conversely, River bank filtration did not perform better than the non-pretreated sample. As such, 100 µm filtration and rapid sand filtration are considered suitable, robust, and cost efficient pre-treatment options for wastewater fed RED, enabling the improvement of the hybrid process of RED-RO seawater desalination.

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