Performance evaluation of reverse osmosis (RO) pre-treatment technologies for in-land brackish water treatment

N.K. Khanzada, S. Jamal Khan*, P.A. Davies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integration of renewable energy with desalination technologies has emerged as an attractive solution to augment fresh water supply sustainably. Fouling and scaling are still considered as limiting factors in membrane desalination processes. For brackish water treatment, pre-treatment of reverse osmosis (RO) feed water is a key step in designing RO plants avoiding membrane fouling. This study aims to compare at pilot scale the rejection efficiency of RO membranes with multiple pre-treatment options at different water recoveries (30, 35, 40, 45 and 50%) and TDS concentrations (3500, 4000, and 4500mg/L). Synthetic brackish water was prepared and performance evaluation were carried out using brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) membranes (Filmtec LC-LE-4040 and Hydranautics CPA5-LD-4040) preceded by 5 and 1μm cartridge filters, 0.02μm ultra-filtration (UF) membrane, and forward osmosis (FO) membrane using 0.25M NaCl and MgCl2 as draw solutions (DS). It was revealed that FO membrane with 0.25M MgCl2 used as a draw solution (DS) and Ultra-filtration (UF) membrane followed by Filmtec membrane gave overall 98% rejection but UF facing high fouling potential due to high applied pressure. Use of 5 and 1μm cartridge filter prior to Filmtec membrane also showed effective results with 95% salt rejection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-50
Number of pages7
Early online date15 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • Brackish water
  • forward osmosis
  • permeate TDS
  • rejection efficiency
  • reverse osmosis
  • ultrafiltration


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