Simulated cost comparisons of hollow-fiber and integrated nanofiltration configurations
Treatment costs and cost effectiveness of a hollow-fiber nanofiltration (HFNF) system vs. an integrated system comprised of spiral-wound nanofiltration (SWNF) pre-treated with hollow-fiber ultrafiltration (HFUF) are estimated and compared using numerical simulation and cost modeling. Optimal selections are investigated based on the cost effectiveness of the two treatment options over different raw water conditions and for different plant capacities. Recently developed permeate flux and cost models were used to simulate the membrane systems. Values for operating parameters used in the simulations were chosen from previously reported pilot studies. For relatively smaller (≤1 mgd) plants, a HFNF system that can handle higher solids loading is predicted be the cost effective treatment option, due to the associated lower non-membrane capital costs that form the dominant component of total treatment costs at smaller capacities. However, when the raw water is largely characterized by particles with a very high fouling potential for the single HFNF step, separate HFUF pre-treatment for particulate removal may be warranted. At higher plant capacities, economies of scale are shown to be significantly realized in non-membrane capital costs, and the integrated HFUF-SWNF configuration is predicted to become increasingly cost effective due to the cost advantages of spiral-wound membranes. Hence, optimal design philosophies with regard to cost effectiveness may be quite different for small and large membrane plants.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)