Optimal Membrane Desalination Network Synthesis with Detailed Water Quality Information

Sabla Y. Alnouri, Patrick Linke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


This work builds on a previously developed superstructure optimization approach for SWRO desalination network design, and expands the richness of the representation by accounting for multiple water quality parameters, including boron. This involves replacing conventionally-simplified feed solution assumptions, and incorporating multiple water quality parameters into the SWRO network optimization problem. In doing so, simple correlations capable of predicting RO membrane performance, according to salt rejection characteristics, is carried out by exploiting numerical simulation data via the specialized commercial membrane design software such as ROSA Filmtech (Reverse Osmosis Systems Analysis). A number of additional degrees of freedom are introduced into the problem, such as the pH level, since it considerably affects the boron removal efficiency. Moreover, the superstructure representation has been extended to include multiple membrane element choices for the different SWRO units within the network, rather than strictly limiting the network design to a single membrane type, thus allowing the assessment of several choices of membrane types within a single optimization. Moreover, enhanced economic and environmental assessment procedures are adapted, that capture more genuine and accurate design performance predictions. The method is illustrated through a case study example involving a typical seawater feed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-524
Number of pages5
JournalComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2012



  • Boron removal
  • Desalination
  • Multiple water quality parameters
  • Process design
  • Reverse osmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications

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