Seawater desalination has been growing at over 10% per year with large installations in regions where other sources of water are depleted or not available. The first seawater desalination plants designed around reverse osmosis membrane (SWRO) were installed in the 1980’s. Currently it is estimated that over 28 million cubic meters per day of water are provided by SWRO. Virtually all of these SWRO plants utilize spiral wound elements containing thin film composite polyamide membrane. The innovation and development of polyamide membrane will be presented along with an overview of the current status of the technology. This will include an overview of how the process works. Realistic membrane flow and salt rejection performance at actual sites will be discussed. Environmental concerns on seawater intake, outfall and energy consumption will be discussed. The economic impact of innovations in the performance of the polyamide membrane and manufacturing improvements has resulted in a 1000 fold improvement from the original membranes. This progression will be reviewed. Areas where future improvements might be made will be discussed along with the potential economic impact.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Randy Truby
- R L Truby& Associates
- AMTA Pre-Conference, San Diego, CA
- Pre-Conference: Pioneering Achievements in Desalination with a Review of Current Status
- Overview of SWRO Membrane, Potential Innovations, Economic Implications