A Korean research workforce discovered a method to inhibit the fouling of membranes that are utilized in the desalination process that removes salt and dissolved substances from seawater to get drinking, domestic use, and industrial water.
The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) introduced a research group headed by Dr. Seongpil Jeong, and Dr. Seockheon Lee at KIST’s Water Cycle Research Center developed a membrane distillation pretreatment course that provides magnesium to inhibit the fouling and wetting of membranes during desalination.
The membrane distillation course is desalination expertise used to provide fresh water in which seawater is heated to generate a vapor, which is then handed through a hydrophobic membrane before condensing into freshwater.
The phenomena of fouling and wetting can usually occur throughout the membrane distillation process. If fouling occurs, it could cause the production of freshwater to take for longer or shorten the lifespan of the membrane used in the distillation course, thereby growing the costs associated with freshwater production.
The KIST analysis team observed the membrane distillation process and discovered that the development of calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate crystals on the membrane surface was the principal reason for fouling.
They also discovered that the formation of CaCO3 crystals occurred at the beginning of the membrane distillation process, inflicting partial membrane wetting, while the formation of CaSO4 crystals caused a complete membrane wetting, halting membrane operation.