Investigating the effect of temperature on calcium sulfate scaling of reverse osmosis membranes using FTIR, SEM-EDX and multivariate analysis
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Membrane fouling is one of the major hurdles in widespread use of seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) in desalination industry. There are various factors that affect the inorganic fouling or scaling of Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. In this research, the effect of temperature on scaling of RO and Graphene oxide (GO) coated RO membrane by calcium sulfate was investigated. It was found that the increase in temperature enhanced the membrane scaling which was evident by the severe flux decline over time leading to increase in mass of crystals precipitated (Mt) and thickness of the scale layer. There was strong positive correlation (R2 � 0.97) noted between Mt and the temperature. The results of SEM-EDX and XRD confirmed that the crystals formed under the experimental conditions are gypsum. Results of this research showed that there was no significant difference in terms of crystal morphology, scaling intensity and mechanism after modifying RO membrane with GO. It was noted that the morphology of the crystals varied from rod shaped to rosette structures under the influence of temperature. Furthermore, the results of FTIR helped to understand the mechanism of interaction between the membranes and the gypsum. The hydrophilicity of the scaled membrane was also measured to investigate the changes in the properties of the membrane after scaling.
- Biological & Environmental Sciences [604 items ]