Critical risk points of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis processes in water recycling applications
Nghiem, Long D.
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NF/RO membrane filtration processes have been recognized as an important technology to facilitate water recycling. Those processes are well-proven technologies, which can be used to remove a wide range of contaminants including trace contaminants that are of particular concern in water recycling. However, risk implications in association with brine or concentrate and membrane cleaning wastewater disposal have to date not been adequately understood. This study examines the adsorption and release process of several endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during NF/RO filtration processes. Results reported here indicate that the membrane can serve as a large reservoir for EDCs and their release may be possible during membrane cleaning or erratic pH variation during operation. Treatment of membrane cleaning solution should be carefully considered when EDCs are amongst the target contaminants in NF/RO membrane filtration.