Comparative study of NF and RO membranes in the treatment of produced water-Part I: Assessing water quality

Salem Alzahrani, A. W. Mohammad, N. Hilal, Pauzi Abdullah, Othman Jaafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compared the filtration of produced water using two new and highly hydrophilic nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes to assess removal efficiency in pre-and-post-filtration processes, and to compare the quality of water obtained against standards for reuse as indirect potable water. The results show that NF membrane successfully attains 96% of overall drinking water standards, despite its inefficiency in removing boron, molybdenum and ammonia. The study also found that the NF membrane can be used as a pre-treatment for the RO membrane to produce high quality water and reduce contaminant concentrations, thereby minimizing the potential for fouling. In contrast, the produced water treated by the RO membrane successfully met the regulatory quality standards for drinking water, with the exception of the parameters for ammonia and molybdenum. The study concluded that treated produced water has potential for reuse as indirect potable water and that both of the hydrophilic NF and RO membranes studied are suitable for treating produced water to yield a promising source of water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Apr 5 2013


  • Hydrophilic membrane
  • Produced water
  • Wastewater reuse
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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