Laboratory technique for predicting the scaling propensity of RO feed waters

Alexander Drak, Karl Glucina, Markus Busch, David Hasson*, Jean Michel Laîne, Raphael Semiat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This paper describes the further development of a novel laboratory technique for characterizing the scaling potential of RO feed waters. The work is focused on the CaCO3 scaling system, which is of general interest and is encountered in RO purification of Seine River water. Scaling intensity at various water recovery levels is characterized by measuring permeate flux decline and changes in pH, hardness and alkalinity of a solution recycling in the system for a certain period of time, at the tested water compositions. The objective of the present study was to test the reliability of the above intermittent recycle technique for assessing scaling propensity and anti-sealant inhibitory effectiveness by comparing speedily determined laboratory results with long duration field data, measured with Seine River water. Scale deposition thresholds in the presence of four different anti-sealants were determined in the laboratory using simulated Seine River concentrates of compositions corresponding to water recovery levels of 60-90% and of scaling potentials ranging from Langelier saturation index values (LSI) of-0.1 to 2.5. Both field and laboratory results indicated that all four tested anti-sealants enabled a water recovery level of at least 88% at LSI levels exceeding 2.0. The laboratory measurements predicted correctly the field results in three out of four cases in which a comparison was possible. This agreement lends support to the usefulness of the proposed laboratory technique for convenient characterization of scaling propensity of RO feed waters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Membranes in Drinking and Industrial Water Production - Paris, France
Duration: 3 Oct 20006 Oct 2000


  • Anti-scalants
  • CaCO scale
  • Scale deposition
  • Scale inhibitors
  • Scaling propensity


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