Incipient crystallization of sparingly soluble salts on membrane surfaces: The case of dead-end filtration with no agitation, Desalination, vol. 273, pp.105–117.
Year : 2011
Author : Karabelas A.J., Kostoglou M., Mitrouli S.T.
This paper aims at contributing to development of reliable criteria for determining the onset of scaling on desalination membranes. A novel approach is proposed to investigate incipient crystallization on membranes through modeling and RO filtration experiments. The evolution of membrane surface concentration of rejected ionic species (e.g. Ca2+, CO32−) is theoretically determined, and coupled with a detailed kinetic model for nucleation and growth of particles on the membrane. Model results contribute to our understanding of this problem and are in general accord with experimental data on membrane surface crystal density and mean size. Experimental data and model results showthat incipient crystallization on RO membrane surfaces, when the bulk supersaturation ratio is maintained near its critical value (S ~1), is controlled by fluid permeation, and that the “induction time” may be insignificant under typical RO conditions. This work also suggests that the ability to determine the onset of crystallization on membranes is dependent on the combined sensitivity and adequate spatial resolution of the experimental technique employed, which explains the significant uncertainty associated with the reported in literature “induction period” data of different origin. Directions for future research are discussed.