3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF

Nurshaun Sreedhar, Navya Thomas, Oraib Al-Ketan, Reza Rowshan, Hector Hernandez, Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub, Hassan A. Arafat

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    In this proof of concept study, 3D printed feed spacers with complex geometries based on triply periodic minimal surfaces (TPMS) were designed and tested in reverse osmosis (RO) and ultrafiltration (UF) processes. The spacers showed flux enhancement of 15.5% and 38% in brackish water RO and UF tests with sodium alginate solution, respectively, in comparison to a commercial feed spacer. Moreover, lower feed channel pressure drop was also observed for the TPMS spacers. Biofouling tests were performed and the membranes were characterized using total organic carbon (TOC) and fluorescence microscopy. The TPMS spacers yielded a reduction in biofouling when compared to commercial feed spacers. Fouling patterns on the membranes were visualized for the different spacers using crystal violet stain, which also revealed a significantly reduced biofilm deposition using the TPMS spacers. The TPMS-based feed spacers have shown great promise in enhancing both RO and UF membrane processes, both in terms of flux enhancement and fouling reduction.

    LanguageEnglish (US)
    Pages12-21
    Number of pages10
    JournalDesalination
    Volume425
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

    Fingerprint

    Biofouling
    Nitrobenzene
    biofouling
    Fluorescence microscopy
    Reverse osmosis
    Ultrafiltration
    Organic carbon
    ultrafiltration
    total organic carbon
    periodicity
    mitigation
    organic carbon
    Fluxes
    membrane
    Membranes
    Carbon
    carbon
    Fouling
    fouling
    Sodium alginate

    Keywords

    • 3D printing
    • Feed spacers
    • Reverse osmosis
    • Triply periodic minimal surfaces
    • Ultrafiltration

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemistry(all)
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Water Science and Technology
    • Mechanical Engineering

    Cite this

    Sreedhar, N., Thomas, N., Al-Ketan, O., Rowshan, R., Hernandez, H., Abu Al-Rub, R. K., & Arafat, H. A. (2018). 3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF. Desalination, 425, 12-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2017.10.010

    3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF. / Sreedhar, Nurshaun; Thomas, Navya; Al-Ketan, Oraib; Rowshan, Reza; Hernandez, Hector; Abu Al-Rub, Rashid K.; Arafat, Hassan A.

    In: Desalination, Vol. 425, 01.01.2018, p. 12-21.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Sreedhar, N, Thomas, N, Al-Ketan, O, Rowshan, R, Hernandez, H, Abu Al-Rub, RK & Arafat, HA 2018, '3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF' Desalination, vol. 425, pp. 12-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2017.10.010
    Sreedhar N, Thomas N, Al-Ketan O, Rowshan R, Hernandez H, Abu Al-Rub RK et al. 3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF. Desalination. 2018 Jan 1;425:12-21. Available from, DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2017.10.010
    Sreedhar, Nurshaun ; Thomas, Navya ; Al-Ketan, Oraib ; Rowshan, Reza ; Hernandez, Hector ; Abu Al-Rub, Rashid K. ; Arafat, Hassan A./ 3D printed feed spacers based on triply periodic minimal surfaces for flux enhancement and biofouling mitigation in RO and UF. In: Desalination. 2018 ; Vol. 425. pp. 12-21
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