Desalination, Vol.159, No.2, 139-152, 2003
Water softening in a crossflow membrane reactor
This paper presents an investigation on the removal of hardness by using a crossflow membrane reactor. Lime soda (LS) and caustic soda (CS) were added to hard water as softening chemical agents. The effect of the LS-CS dosage, specific cake resistances (alpha) and transmembrane pressure drop (DeltaP) on steady-state rejection and flux was investigated. Also, flux declines were evaluated with respect to various flux decline models. It was found that hardness rejections decrease for LS and increase for CS with increasing LS and CS dosage, respectively. As DeltaP increases, it was observed that while steady-state fluxes rise for both additives, hardness rejections were decreased for CS and remained constant for LS. A maximum of 97.5% hardness removal was achieved for 100% stochiometric dosages of CS. Obtained steady-state flux values varied between 224 to 881 L/m(2) h, depending on added chemical dosages and applied DeltaP. It was determined that the reason for the flux decline at the beginning of the filtration (i.e., in the rapid flux decline period, RPD) was due to an intermediate pore blocking mechanism. As filtration progressed to the slow flux decline period (SDP), it was concluded that cake filtration occurred for all experiments. If solid matter concentration in the feed solution and applied DeltaP are relatively low, the experiments showed that flux decline is due to the intermediate pore blocking mechanism. However, it was determined that if solid matter concentration in the feed solution and applied DeltaP are relatively high, the flux decline model fits well with the cake filtration model.
Keywords:microfiltration;water softening;flux decline;hardness removal;crossflow;process intensification