(418b) Self-Adaptive Water Treatment and Desalination of Source Water of Variable Feed Quality
Membrane based water treatment and desalination technologies have been gaining momentum in potable water production from seawater and brackish groundwater, municipal and industrial water reuse, as well as for management and reuse of agricultural drainage water. Considerable progress has been made since the early days of Reverse Osmosis (RO) water treatment/desalination regarding reduction in energy consumption, development of high performance fouling and chlorine resistant membranes, as well as improvements of in RO feed pretreatment. Given the increased level of water scarcity in various regions of the world and in particular in the Western US there has been growing efforts to expand the use of otherwise unutilized inland groundwater resources. A major challenge, however, is to implement a strategy that produces treated water of the right quality for the right use at the desired location. Temporal variability of source water quality, however, is a major challenge. Also, many of the various locations/communities, where water purification/desalination is needed, are remote and are not part of a centralized water infrastructure. In such locations, it is critical that water purification is accomplished at high recovery. Addressing the above challenges requires the development of a robust strategy for self-adaptive operation of membrane based filtration and desalination operations that will enable the deployment of distributed water systems. Such water systems have to readily adapt to changing water capacity demand and water quality fluctuations. Accordingly, an approach will be described whereby the concept of self-adaptive distributed water systems is developed, following a rapid process field evaluation approach that then serves to optimize process configuration. The above is enabled via direct real-time membrane monitoring and considerations of high recovery in a small plant footprint with salt harvesting via novel accelerated process of chemical demineralization. Examples of recent advances in the above areas will be discussed along with presentation of successful field demonstrations of seawater, brackish and industrial water treatment and reuse, in addition to purification of impaired groundwater.