Concentration Polarization - Reverse Osmosis Systems Print E-mail

Concentration Polarization - Concentration polarization refers to the concentration gradient of salts on the high pressure side of the reverse osmosis membrane surface created by the less than immediate redilution of salts left behind as water permeates through the membrane itself. The salt concentration in this boundary layer exceeds the concentration of the bulk water. This phenomenon impacts the performance of the RO process by increasing the osmotic pressure at the membrane’s surface leading to the following:

  • Reduced flux
  • Increased salt leakage
  • Increased probability of scale development

Increasing the velocity (turbulence) of the brine stream helps to reduce the concentration polarization.

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