The authors have shown a dramatic improvement in cleaning efficiency when effervescent cleaning reagents are used in conjunction with bubbles created using a specially designed microbubble generator. One potential problem associated with this new technique is that the bubbles will cause damage to the delicate polyamide layer and other structures in the RO element. In order to establish if any damage occurred the authors ran a series of experiments with different manufacturer's membrane elements on a flat sheet test rig and pilot plant. Samples of membrane were then autopsied to establish if any damage had occurred. The authors describe the equipment use, experimental methodology and results of cleaning with this novel approach and results of autopsies which demonstrate that no damage was detected usins this novel cleaning method.
Safe use of microbubbles for removal of RO membrane fouling