Ceramic membrane system for drinking water application operating with high flux

M. Kaschek, M. Sartor*, CERAFILTEC Germany GmbH, Germany; K.G. Gabriel, CERAFILTEC FZCO, Dubai

Brackish groundwater in Middle East region is characterized by very high temperature, high pH, high TDS levels and high hardness. CERAFILTEC - a technology provider for ceramic flat sheet membrane systems - was invited by Saudi Arabia National Water Company (NWC) to demonstrate the performance of the new high flux module at two different locations (Buraydah and Buwaib). In comparison to the experiences in other regions, this water is difficult to treat.

The ceramic membranes were mounted in special high flux membrane modules and operated in a demonstration plant with a capacity of 12 m³/h. The submerged membranes were operated in a dead-end filtration. The demonstration plant was placed in bypass to the operating full-scale trains. Main target was to remove iron, manganese oxide and particles. In order to set the operation directly into stable conditions, a previously used module was installed to avoid a typical performance start-up decline. During backwash mode with drain and discharge of the concentrated sludge waste the formed sludge layer on the membrane was removed.

Different investigations with varying fluxes and water pretreatment were done during the demonstration phase to find out the optimal operation parameter for a high flux operation.

After the start-up and with running pH adjustment, the plant operated stable over both demonstration periods. The filtration start trans membrane pressure after backwash was -0.076 ± 0.138 bar. The applied chlorination led to the expected improvement of the filtered water quality. Excellent results for iron, turbidity and SDI have been achieved.

For both demonstration sites fluxes of > 1000 LMH were achieved marking a technology breakthrough. As the water temperature of the brackish ground water is ~ 40 °C, it is important to keep in mind, that the results need to be normalized (commonly done at 20 °C reference temperature) which means that the normalized flux is around 650 LMH. Nevertheless, this is an excellent value and the results could be achieved due....

Session: M4 - Ceramic Membranes and Fouling
Day: 23 October 2019
Time: 10:45 - 12:00 h

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