Boron Removal by Membrane Distillation: A Comparison Study

Membranes (Basel). 2020 Sep 28;10(10):263. doi: 10.3390/membranes10100263.


Several Membrane Distillation (MD) technologies have been employed to remove boron from various concentrations. In this study, Vacuum Membrane Distillation (VMD), Permeate Gap Membrane Distillation (PGMD), and Air Gap Membrane Distillation (AGMD) are examined to evaluate their effectiveness when combined with several boron concentrations (1.5, 7 and 30 ppm) and operating parameters (circulation rate from 0.9 L/min to 5 L/min, feed temperature from 40 to 70 °C, and pH from 3-11). Those concentrations of boron are selected on the basis of the concentration of boron in the permeate side of the single-pass reverse osmosis (RO) system, Arabian Gulf, and contaminated brackish water. Moreover, synthetic seawater is treated to assess MD technologies' effectiveness. A high removal efficiency of boron is accomplished by MD. AGMD, PGMD, and VMD are promising methods for the desalination industry. AGMD shows excellent boron removal, which was above 99% with a wide ranging concentration. In addition, VMD demonstrates good permeate flux compared to the other MD technologies, which were about 5.8 kg/m2·h for synthetic seawater. Furthermore, there is no noteworthy influence of the pH value on the boron removal efficiency.

Keywords: air gap membrane distillation; boron; membrane distillation; permeate gap membrane distillation; synthetic seawater; vacuum membrane distillation.