International Journal of Econometrics and Financial Management
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International Journal of Econometrics and Financial Management. 2021, 9(1), 6-22
DOI: 10.12691/ijefm-9-1-2
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Cleaning Strategies and Cost Modelling of Experimental Membrane-based Desalination Plants

Divas Karimanzira1, , Joachim Went2 and Frank Neumann3

1Department of surface water and maritime systems, Fraunhofer IOSB, Am Vogelherd 90, 98693, Ilmenau, Water Treatment and Separation

2High Temperature Solar Thermal and Industrial Processes, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE Heidenhofstr. 2, 79110 Freiburg, Germany

3Working Group Photo- and Electrochemical Environmental Engineering, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface, Engineering and Thin Films IST, Bienroder Weg 54 E, D-38108 Braunschweig

Pub. Date: July 20, 2021

Cite this paper:
Divas Karimanzira, Joachim Went and Frank Neumann. Cleaning Strategies and Cost Modelling of Experimental Membrane-based Desalination Plants. International Journal of Econometrics and Financial Management. 2021; 9(1):6-22. doi: 10.12691/ijefm-9-1-2


In Project WASTEC, an experimental Reverse Osmosis (RO) desalination system was developed. It serves as a platform for testing new technologies. For this system, we solved two problems, which are described in this paper. Firstly, we developed and investigated strategies for scheduling chemical enhanced backwashing and chemical cleaning and secondly, due to the experimental nature of the project, several new technological developments with respect to materials and methods were integrated into the system and requires tools for evaluating the economic viability of the new technologies. In this task, the economics of membrane-based desalination will be investigated. Baseline systems of reverse osmosis and pretreatment systems (microfiltration and ultrafiltration) will be economically examined and compared for their investments and operational costs. Sensitivity of the different plant and membrane parameters to the cost will be studied. Results show that with respect to costs, for a 200m3/hr design capacity plant, a volume of water is produced by a MF process at a cost of $0.494 and at a cost of $0.486 by an ultrafiltration process microfiltration. The reverse osmosis process cannot be compared directly, but it required $ 0.49 / m3 for a plant with 56 m3/hour design capacity. The values are in line with the costs reported in literature for membrane-based filtration.

operational strategy membrane filtration cost estimation cost sensitivity analysis

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