RO – Feed conditioning

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One approach that can increase RO recovery is conditioning the feed water to reduce/remove or manage scaling conditions in the feed water. High efficiency RO processes use feed conditioning treatment steps that address certain feed water qualities that limit recovery, such as scaling and high oil and grease. Recoveries of more than 90% are readily achievable with these processes. These processes are generally well known and predictable. However, the additional RO feed water pre-treatment steps create operational challenges and costs. They have been widely documented and the capabilities expounded in many forums such as this.

A generalised schematic of these processes is shown in Figure 1. The basic process consists of three steps: hardness and suspended solids removal, alkalinity adjustment, and RO treatment at elevated pH.

fig 1 5 RO   Feed conditioning

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