Scaling control of RO membranes and direct treatment of surface water

P. A C Bonné, J. A M H Hofman, J. P. Van Der Hoek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (SciVal)


Since 1992 Amsterdam Water Supply has been conducting pilot-plant (2×9 m3/h) research on the use of reverse osmosis (RO) for direct surface water treatment from the Rhine River. The investigations were made as a feasibility study for an extension with 13Mm3/y of the existing treatment plant (70Mm3/y). Research was carried out with ultra-low-pressure membranes and an organophosphonate antiscalant (Permatreat 191). With this antiscalant no biofouling was introduced upon its use. Because of its low environmental impact, sulphuric acid was preferred above hydrochloric acid, but the barium sulfate scaling risk was increased. Experiments were conducted with both types of acid in increasing recovery steps from 80% up to 90%. While starting experimental difficulties with dosing the antiscalant occurred and BaSO4-scale formation was a fact, especially in the installation with sulphuric acid, a severe MTC decrease was seen. Successive cleaning was possible with an alkali cleaner containing a complex builder. From the barium mass balance over this 3-month period, the precipitated barium amount was calculated. Barium analysis of the cleaning solution showed an almost complete recovery of the barium from the membrane elements. Moreover, the MTC was restored completely. From this it was concluded that the precipitated barium sulphate was washed out completely. Recoveries up to 87% are possible without BaSO4-scale formation and run times up to 1 year. The working inhibition time of the antiscalant in concentrate from increasing recoveries was determined experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2000


  • Antiscalant
  • Barium sulphate
  • Fouling control
  • MTC cleaning
  • Scaling control


Dive into the research topics of 'Scaling control of RO membranes and direct treatment of surface water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this