A critical challenge of inland desalination, used for drinking water production from groundwater or for the reclamation of municipal wastewater, is the management of the concentrate produced by reverse osmosis (RO) desalination. The high concentrations of sparingly soluble inorganic species in RO concentrates limit further treatment by conventional systems and the presence of contaminants, concentrated by the RO process, may render the disposal of the concentrate challenging or expensive. To address this challenge, we explore a range of membrane-based separation processes that can tackle very high salinity waters and reduce the volume of concentrates produced in inland desalination.

Selected Publications

Rajwade, K., Barrios, A.C., Garcia-Segura, S., Perreault, F. 2020. Pore wetting in membrane distillation treatment of municipal wastewater desalination brine and its mitigation by foam fractionation. Chemosphere, 257, 127214.

Alrehaili, O., Perreault, F., Sinha, S., Westerhoff, P. 2020. Increasing Net Water Recovery of Reverse Osmosis with Membrane Distillation Using Natural Thermal Differentials Between Brine and Co-Located Water Sources: Impacts at Large Reclamation Facilities. Water Research, 184, 116134.

Thomas, E., Jain, A., Mann, S., Walker, W.S., Perreault, F., Lind, M.L., Verduzco, R. 2020. Freestanding self-assembled sulfonated pentablock copolymer membranes for high flux pervaporation desalination. Journal of Membrane Science 613, 118460.

Funding sources

USAID/National Academy of Sciences (Subaward 2000010567)

US Bureau of Reclamation – Desalination and Water Purification Research (Agreement R16AC00125)