• Flexible design and operation of multi-stage reverse osmosis desalination process for producing different grades of water with maintenance and cleaning opportunity

      Al-Obaidi, Mudhar A.A.R.; Rasn, K.H.; Aladhwani, S.H.; Kadhom, M.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2022-06)
      The use of Reverse Osmosis (RO) process in seawater desalination to provide high-quality drinking water is progressively increased compared to thermal technologies. In this paper, multistage spiral wound RO desalination process is considered. Each stage consists of several pressure vessels (PVs) organised in parallel with membrane modules in each PV being organised in series. This allows disconnecting a set of PVs and membrane modules depending on the requirement of cleaning and maintenance. While this flexibility offers the opportunity of generating several RO configurations, we presented only four such configurations of the RO system and analysed them via simulation and optimisation. Production of different grades of water catering different needs of a city is also considered for each of these configurations. The optimisation has resulted in the optimal operating conditions, which maximises the water productivity and minimises the specific energy consumption of the proposed configurations for a given water grade in terms of salinity. For instance, the results indicate that the proposed RO networks can produce drinking water of 500 ppm salinity with a minimum specific energy consumption of 3.755 kWh/m3. The strategy offers the production of different grades of water without plant shutdown while maintaining the membrane modules throughout the year.