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Is Buffering the Answer to Overcome the Fluctuation of Industrial Effluent Quality at an UF-RO Plant?

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The performance of the UF-RO plant depends highly on the quality of the effluent. In this case the effluent quality varies a lot and therefore not always suitable for (re)use. Sometimes other water sources have to be used, like drinking water. However the intake costs of drinking water makes the UF-RO plant economically less attractive. For this reason an investigation is started on the impact of a water buffer, stabilization pond on the industrial effluent water quality. This paper evaluates the water quality and the performance of the UF-RO plant fed by industrial effluent after buffering in a stabilization pond.

The concentration of foulants decreases significantly during buffering in a stabilization pond. This is in contrast with the results of SUR measurements. However due to the pretreatment well filterable UF feedwater could be obtained. The fouling rate of the RO unit was almost similar for both the stabilized and the unstabilized effluent. In general it seems that the temperature and presence of algae are the main disadvantages of effluent water buffering in a pond and not expected effluent water fouling properties. The successful UF-RO processing of algae in effluent feed water should be further investigated. In the full scale UF-RO application the water temperature and the linked water viscosity will be a problem in winter time when temperature drops to below 10°C, which can not be compensated in the UF-RO systems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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