Inderscience Publishers

Seawater feed reverse osmosis preheating appraisal, Part I: leading element performance

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This paper is concerned with the seawater reverse osmosis preheating process, and presents a parametric study of the process. The basic transport equations describing the leading element are exhibited and appraised. The leading element, which governs the whole system performance, is studied and analysed. The incorporated and investigated operating parameters are the feed pressure and the temperature for different feed salt concentrations. In addition, different feed flow rates, effects on permeate flux and permeator salt rejection, together with the permeator recovery, are studied. A seawater membrane of a well-known data, for instance FT30SW380HR, is used to perform the study. The membrane water permeability coefficient Kw is determined and correlated. Furthermore, the membrane salt permeability coefficient Ks from the manufacturer system analysis program (ROSA) is given and discussed. The transport governing equations are programmed in a way that facilitates the achievement of a realistic parametric study. The results showed that the permeate flux increases significantly as the feed pressure increases. Also, it increases significantly as the feed salt concentration decreases, and also as the feed temperature and pressure increase. Meanwhile, the permeator salt rejection increases significantly as the feed pressure increases, and decreases significantly as the feed temperature increases. The study of the leading element of the array showed that there are constraints that must be considered, such as maximum membrane flux, maximum applied feed pressure, maximum feed flow rate and maximum feed temperature. Therefore, to attain the maximum membrane flux, the applied feed pressure must be lowered when the feed temperature is increased. In the case where the feed temperature is increased from 18°C to 45°C, a pressure saving of between 7% and 26% is achieved, according to the feed salt concentration and feed flow rate.

Keywords: array leading element, nuclear desalination, feed preheating, FT-SW-380HR, membrane performance, membrane permeability, permeate flux, permeate salt rejection, seawater reverse osmosis, transport equations, feed flow rates, feed salt concentration

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