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The role of coagulation-flocculation in the pretreatment of reverse osmosis in power plant

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
ARTICLE IN PRESS (volume, issue and page numbers will be assigned later)
DOI: (registered soon)
Luciano Dias Xavier1 , Lidia Yokoyama1, Vanessa Reich de Oliveira2, Gabriel Travagini Ribeiro3, Ofelia Araujo4
1 LabTare – Escola de Química Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2 Praia de Botafogo, 501 Torre Pão de Açúcar - 7º andar, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 EDP Energia Pecém Complexo Industrial e Portuário do Pecém, São Gonçalo do Amarante, Ceará, Brazil
4 H2CIN – Escola de Química Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The objective of this work is to simulate pretreatment steps on a laboratory scale with the purpose of producing a higher quality permeate for feed reverse osmosis process. Pretreatment steps involved in this work are a combination of physical and chemical processes, such as coagulation-flocculation, sand filtration, and microfiltration. Samples of seawater next to Itaqui thermoelectric power plant in Maranhão, State of Brazil, powered by coal, were collected and characterized. The characterization indicated high levels of turbidity, which is unusual for seawater, indicating the need of pretreatment to reverse osmosis. The combination of polyaluminum chloride dosages of 30 mg / L and 0.3 mg / L of Nalclear 8173 anionic polymer allowed the reduction of turbidity values to below 1 NTU. The use of coagulation and microfiltration membranes provided values of silt density index next to 3, while with sand filter, the silt density index values were higher than 4.

Keywords: Reverse osmosis; Salinity; Coagulation; Desalination; Membranes; Microfiltration.

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