A review on the applicability of integrated/hybrid membrane processes in water treatment and desalination plants

Wei Lun Ang, Abdul Wahab Mohammad, Nidal Hilal, Choe Peng Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Conventional processes involved in water treatment, either in water treatment plants or reverse osmosis desalination plants, have encountered several obstacles that have severely affected their performances and efficiencies. Pollution of natural water resources, increasing demand and overuse of clean water have all put critical stress on currently available conventional water treatment/desalination plants. Due to these problems, integrated/hybrid membrane processes have attracted much interest. An integrated/hybrid membrane system is a process which combines a membrane filtration unit (microfiltration/ultrafiltration/nanofiltration) with other processes such as coagulation, adsorption and ion exchange. Alternatively, it can be a combination of different membranes in the same system with a conventional process. The purpose of this paper is to review the applicability of integrated/hybrid membrane systems in water treatment plants and reverse osmosis desalination plants. The literature shows that many benefits and marked improvements could be achieved with integrated/hybrid membrane processes, such as enhanced quality of the water produced, energy savings, environmental friendliness, and reductions in the capital and operating costs of the plants. The implications of the integrated membrane system prove that it has huge potential to be widely applied and can lead to a breakthrough in solving the problem of water scarcity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-18
Number of pages17
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Desalination
  • Integrated/hybrid membrane process
  • Membrane pretreatment
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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