Publication Details

Fujioka, T., Khan, S. J., McDonald, J. A., Roux, A., Poussade, Y., Drewes, J. E. & Nghiem, L. D. (2014). Modelling the rejection of N-nitrosamines by a spiral-wound reverse osmosis system: mathematical model development and validation. Journal of Membrane Science, 454 (March), 212-219.


A mathematical model was developed based on the irreversible thermodynamic principle and hydro- dynamic calculation to predict the rejection of N-nitrosamines by spiral-wound reverse osmosis (RO) membrane systems. The developed model is able to accurately describe the rejection of N-nitrosamines under a range of permeate flux and system recovery conditions. The modelled N-nitrosamine rejections were in good agreement with values obtained experimentally using a pilot-scale RO filtration system. Simulation from the model revealed that an increase in permeate flux from10 to 30L/m2h led to an increase in the rejection of low molecular weight N-nitrosamines such as N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) (from31% to 54%), which was validated by experimental results. The modelling results also revealed that an increase in recovery caused a decrease in the rejection of these N-nitrosamines, which is consistent with the experimental results. Further modelling investigations suggested that NDMA rejection by a spiral-wound system can drop from 49% to 35% when the overall recovery increased from 10% to 50%. The model developed from this study can be a useful tool for water utilities and regulators fo rsystem design and evaluating the removal of N-nitrosamine by RO membranes.

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