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Natural Clinoptilolite Composite Coated Stainless Steel Tubular Membranes for Water Softening and Desalination Open Access


Other title
Tubular membrane
Stainless steel support
Natural zeolite
Water softening
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Adamaref, Solmaz
Supervisor and department
Kuznicki, Steve M.(Chemical and materials engineering)
Examining committee member and department
McCaffrey, William C. (Chemical and materials engineering)
Kuznicki, Steve M. (Chemical and material engineering)
Sadrzadeh, Mohtada (Mechanical engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Water is an essential resource for life and sources of fresh water are limited. As population and industries are increasing around the world the need for reuse the water is increased. One of the most important industries in Alberta, Canada is oilsands industry. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is a commercial, in-situ oil production technology in which water plays a central role. Purification of SAGD produced water is very vital for sustainable application of this technology. Researchers are motivated to develop new energy efficient methods and technologies to reuse water. Salinity is one major issue in SAGD produced water; sodium concentration in SAGD water (over 1400 ppm) is dominant as compared to other mineral ions. Therefore, to prevent scaling in boilers, desalination of SAGD water is very important for reuse of SAGD produced water. Membrane technology is the most widely used technology for water desalination. Recently, disc membranes generated from high purity natural clinoptilolite mineral rock have shown promising water desalination and de-oiling performance. In this study a new strategy for scaling up production of these types of membranes for industrial applications was applied and developed. Natural clinoptilolite powder from St. Cloud (Winston, NM, USA) and aluminum phosphate as a binder was deposited on the inner surface of porous stainless steel tubes by dip-drain technique. Phase composition and morphology of the coating materials were investigated using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Besides, particle size distribution of slurry is studied. The membrane performance (permeation and separation) in water softening were evaluated using Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) municipal tap water as feed source. Preliminary experimental results show a high water flux of 34.20 kg/m2.h and 91.88% and 87.03% of reduction of hardness and conductivity in a once-through membrane process at 160°C and feed pressure of 780 kPa, respectively. These results show that natural zeolite coated stainless steel tubular membranes have great potential for large-scale desalination of industrial wastewater at high temperature and pressures. The potential application of the membrane in treatment of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) produced water at high temperature and pressure will be discussed.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
•S. Adamaref, W. An, M.O. Jarligo, T. Kuznicki, S.M. Kuznicki, Natural clinoptilolite composite membranes on tubular stainless steel supports for water softening, Water science & technology, 2014, Vol 70, No 8, pp 1412–1418

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