Evaluation of new compact pretreatment system for high turbidity seawater: Fiber filter and ultrafiltration

Desalination, Volume 313, 15 March 2013, Pages 28-35.
Joshua Joohyen Kim, Hyunsoo Yoon, Jonghyun Hong, Taejoon Lee, Mark Wilf.

Desalination Department, Hyosung Goodsprings Inc., Mapo-Gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Private Consultant, ROtechnology, San Diego, USA




Hyosung Goodsprings has embarked on development of new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination technologies through construction and operation of SWRO research facility with 2000 m3/day production capacity.

The pilot plant includes a new compact pretreatment system to treat high turbidity seawater. The pretreatment system includes double stage stretching-releasing type fiber filter (FF) followed by ultrafiltration unit. This configuration shows successes in producing consistent quality of feed water to RO membrane of less than 3 SDI15 even during periods of high turbidity seawater reaching levels of 52 NTU. The FF pretreatment has very small foot print and competitive operation cost in terms of chemical and energy consumption. However, the main concern of stretching-releasing type fiber filter is physical integrity of the fibers over the equipment lifetime. Field results for two years operation show that fiber bundles made of polypropylene break frequently and need to be replaced with new bundles annually. Improvement of durability of fiber material and filter equipments is necessary for application of FF in commercial desalination plants.

The stable operation of RO unit provides support to the above conclusion that limited size pretreatment process evaluated in this study could be adequate for membrane desalination system treating high turbidity seawater.


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