Suitability of cationic flocculants for RO membranes performance improvement



As it has already been published and demonstrated, one of the main causes of membranes failures is related to a poor plant pre-treatment. Data from more than 600 autopsies demonstrated that both biofilm and colloidal matter are the most common components on RO (reverse osmosis) membranes fouling, therefore, main lack on membranes pre-treatment is related to disinfection and small size of the particles. In many cases, the dosing of chemicals such as biocides and flocculants is the only tool for membranes pre-treatment improvement.

Although on previous papers, cationic flocculants effectiveness was already proved, there is still a belief of risk in the use of this kind of products on RO pre-treatments.

Genesys Membrane Products laboratories has broad experience on the optimization of cationic flocculants use which proves the effectiveness of these products for RO pre-treatment with no risk for the membranes. This paper will demonstrate the compatibility of some cationic flocculant with membranes, as well as the compatibility of novel formulations including biocides in the flocculant formulation.

On this paper, the authors will review data from laboratory tests, case studies and compatibility tests carried out through different analytical techniques (SEM-EDX, ATR/FTIR, etc.) for the different flocculants developed by Genesys International Limited and will try to demonstrate the save use of this products for the best performance of RO systems.

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