Novel technologies for reverse osmosis concentrate treatment: a review

J Environ Manage. 2015 Mar 1;150:322-335. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.10.027. Epub 2014 Dec 18.


Global water shortages due to droughts and population growth have created increasing interest in water reuse and recycling and, concomitantly, development of effective water treatment processes. Pressured membrane processes, in particular reverse osmosis, have been adopted in water treatment industries and utilities despite the relatively high operational cost and energy consumption. However, emerging contaminants are present in reverse osmosis concentrate in higher concentrations than in the feed water, and have created challenges for treatment of the concentrate. Further, standards and guidelines for assessment and treatment of newly identified contaminants are currently lacking. Research is needed regarding the treatment and disposal of emerging contaminants of concern in reverse osmosis concentrate, in order to develop cost-effective methods for minimizing potential impacts on public health and the environment. This paper reviews treatment options for concentrate from membrane processes. Barriers to emerging treatment options are discussed and novel treatment processes are evaluated based on a literature review.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation; Concentrate management; Emerging contaminants; Integrated water treatment; Pressure driven membranes; Reverse osmosis concentrate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Filtration / methods*
  • Humans
  • Osmosis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry*
  • Water Purification / methods*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical