Developing Fluorescent-based Monitoring Strategies to Identify and Reduce Membrane Foulants in Drinking Water Treatment Applications

Membrane processes are increasingly used for the production of drinking water, representing a clean and efficient technology.  The application of membrane processes is limited by the accumulation of fouling components at/near the membrane surface and constitutes membrane fouling.  Therefore, fouling monitoring and control strategies are necessary to ensure sustainable operation of membrane processes.  In collaboration with GE Water and Process Technologies, the proposed research will develop tools for the characterization and minimization of membrane fouling by combining fluorescence spectroscopy with multivariate statistical approaches.  We will investigate source water composition and coagulation pre-treatment for a wide range of operating conditions of a full-scale pilot plant membrane system with on-line process monitoring and off-line water quality data.  The proposed work is expected to better characterize the fouling potential of feed water and develop operational strategies for controlling membrane fouling.  This will reduce operational costs and benefit the industry and municipalities in Ontario and Canada.

Ramila Peiris
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Christine Moresoli