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Performance and characterization of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in desalination process for Malaysia’s seawater

Madon, Rais Hanizam (2013) Performance and characterization of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in desalination process for Malaysia’s seawater. Masters thesis, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.


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This research is to determine and identify the seawater’s parameters, define the flux and salt rejection RS rate, and study the energy correlation with the RO membrane systems. The United Nations Environment Programmed (UNEP) calculated from now until 2027 approximately 1/3 of the world’s population will suffer serious water scarcity problems. This is due to the rising demand for fresh water caused by world-wide population growth and also contamination of industrial and agricultural. Malaysia as one of the rapidly developing country also got the risk of water scarcity and needs to investigate the desalination by using RO membrane as alternative of fresh water sources. The major factors to be concerned are the seawater quality parameters, energy usage and membrane fouling. Desalination process, driven by renewable energies as an alternative power sources had become current trends due to its feasible and reliable study field. For the experimental methodology, characterization of the seawater’s parameters was done by using Inductive Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry equipment test. The pure water permeation and seawater flux, and salt rejection RS was determined from the reverse osmosis (RO) water and seawater samples at room temperature with a Sterlitech HP4750 (Sterlitech Corporation, WA) dead-end filtration. The results obtained, showed that the flux and salt rejection rate of the membrane increased linearly and directly proportional to the net operating pressure. Thus, water flows in the reverse direction to the natural flow across the membrane, leaving the dissolved salts behind with an increase in salt concentration. VPSEM characterization verified that membrane with good pores size formation and interconnectivity show good permeation of flux and salt rejection. As the TDS goal is 1000mg/l (fresh water), the Polyamide RO AK membrane is the best membrane performance accordingly to its highest flux ratio and salt rejection rate compared to the net operating pressure. For the wind energy as an alternative renewable energy of desalination process, at wind speed data of 5.56 – 8.33 m/s can produce power from 30 to 100 kW. Based on this experimental data of membrane performance Polyamide RO AK, it’s sufficient and reliable to generate power as desired by Pulau Besar 21.65 kW, Teluk Kemang 21.32kW and Pulau Melaka 20.73kW.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
Depositing User: Normajihan Abd. Rahman
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 07:53
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 07:53
URI: http://eprints.uthm.edu.my/id/eprint/4572
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