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Novel RO Antiscalant for Industrial Water Filtration System Optimizes Groundwater Replenishment in Orange County

Creation Date Friday, 11 July 2014.

American Water Chemicals (AWC), a chemical and analytical solutions specialist in membrane separation protocols such as reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) for conditioning industrial water systems, has finalized the delivery and implementation of a revolutionary RO antiscalant product for Orange County Water District (OCWD)’s groundwater refilling system.

Novel RO Antiscalant for Industrial Water Filtration System Optimizes Groundwater Replenishment in Orange CountyAWC technical director Mo Malki has intitally presented the research findings of this innovative wastewater RO system at the 2011 IDA World Congress in Perth. The findings highlighted the correlation of calcium phosphate scale on RO membranes in silica-scaling formations.

The team had employed a 70 million gallons per day (MGD) (264,950 m3/d) system that underwent microfiltration, RO, and ultraviolet disinfection combined with hydrogen peroxide oxidation (UV/H2O2) for irradiating secondary effluents. However, they have encountered surge of silica-scaling incidents, which propelled them to use ammonium bifluoride (NH₄HF₂) as an alternate RO membrane cleaner.

To address this incident, AWC designed a new A-110 antiscalant to control rapid-scale formation on membranes. OCWD then began the initial testing of the antiscalant product at different temperatures and varying pH levels and inhibited a scale formation in the pilot unit at a dosage of 3.5 mg/L and a pH of 6.9 in 2014. As of this year, OCWD is currently expanding the capacity of the county’s groundwater replenishment system to 100 MGD (378,500 m3/d).

The results also showed that coagulation, or the process of eliminating water contaminants through precipitation, in which iron coagulant carryover were found has a direct impact on the antiscalant product demand. The conclusive research also showed a comparative study between the OCWD feedwater and the groundwater replenishment operation history that then verified that the upturn in ferric ion levels and silica scaling incidents are interconnected.

Antiscalants allow membrane systems to operate for extending periods and avoid mineral scale formation on membranes. As such, reverse osmosis technology is vital to membrane-based water treatment systems among laboratories and industrial facilities. Aqua Solutions is dedicated to providing premium-grade laboratory water purification systems including reverse osmosis pretreatment solutions and other. Learn more about Aqua Solutions’ reverse osmosis systems for cost-effective and high-efficiency lab water treatment at