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Arsenic Removal by RO and NF Membranes (PDF)

  • Author(s): Waypa, John J.; Elimelech, Menachem; Hering, Janet G.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: October 1997
  • Volume / Number: 89, Number 10
  • Page(s): 102-114
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0046234
Full Text: pdf

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Bench-scale experiments were performed to assess the effectiveness of reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membranes in removing arsenic (As) from synthetic freshwater and source water. The authors examined the effects of operational conditions (applied pressure and feedwater temperature) and solution chemical composition (As oxidation state, pH, and presence of co-occurring inorganic solutes). Both As(V) and As(III) were effectively removed from synthetic freshwater by RO and tight NF membranes over a wide range of operational conditions. The relatively large molecular weight (>125 g/mol) of the As species governed their separation behavior. Applied pressure had little effect on As removal, but an increase in feedwater temperature decreased As removal by a small percentage. Removals of As(III) and As(V) were comparable, with no significant preferential rejection of As(V) over As(III). Variations in solution pH from 4 to 8 also did not affect the removal of As species by the membranes tested, despite changes in the speciation and charge of As(V). Co-occurring inorganic solutes had only a slight effect on As removal. Removal of As from source water was comparable to that obtained with synthetic freshwater, despite the presence of turbidity, natural organic matter, and a variety of co-occurring solutes.

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