Beneficial reuse of RO concentrate: Innovative approaches

Samer Adham, Joan Oppenheimer, Manish Kumar, Larry Webb, Richard Kottenstette

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Desalination of brackish waters and reclaimed waters using reverse osmosis (RO) is often limited by the options available for concentrate disposal, particularly in inland areas. Dewatering the concentrate is alternative approach to disposal but the available thermal and membrane technologies are still cost prohibitive for most applications. Beneficial reuse of the RO concentrate represents a sustainable alternative to more traditional concentrate disposal and treatment options because the concentrate becomes a resource rather than a pollutant. This paper presents results from a series of innovative tests utilizing bipolar membrane Electrodialysis (BMED) and Electrochlorination (EC) technologies to produce useful products from RO concentrate that can be utilized at the treatment facility instead of having to dispose of the waste brine into the environment. Experiments were conducted on RO concentrate obtained from a pilot-scale integrated membrane system (IMS) treating wastewater. BMED was used for generating mixed acids and bases from the RO concentrate solution after suitable softening pretreatment. Reasonably high concentrations of acids and bases (0.2-0.5 M) were produced and were shown to be dependent on the concentration and the volume of the used salt solution. Additionally, the RO concentrate was desalted as well. Electrochlorination using RO concentrate was utilized to convert this waste stream into hypochlorite disinfectant of 0.6% similar to that currently being utilized at water treatment plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2007 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition Proceedings
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition - Tampa, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 18 2007Mar 21 2007

Publication series

Name2007 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition Proceedings


Other2007 Membrane Technology Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityTampa, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


Dive into the research topics of 'Beneficial reuse of RO concentrate: Innovative approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this