Theory of Ion and Water Transport in Reverse-Osmosis Membranes

Y. S. Oren, P. M. Biesheuvel
2018 Physical Review Applied  
We present theory for ion and water transport through reverse osmosis membranes based on a Maxwell-Stefan framework combined with hydrodynamic theory for the reduced motion of particles in thin pores. We include all driving forces and frictions both on the fluid (water), and on the ions, including ion-fluid friction as well as ion-wall friction. By including the acid-base character of the carbonic acid system, the boric acid system, H_3O^+/OH^-, and the membrane charge, we locally determine pH
more » ... nd thus the effective charge of the membrane as well as the dissociation degree of boric acid. We present calculation results for a dead end experiment with fixed feed concentration, where effluent composition is a self-consistent function of fluxes through the membrane. Comparison with experimental results from literature for fluid flow vs. pressure, and for salt and boron rejection, shows that theory agrees well with data. Our model is based on realistic assumptions for the effective sizes of the ions and for the diameter of the RO membrane pore in the polyamide toplayer (∼0.75 nm).
doi:10.1103/physrevapplied.9.024034 fatcat:bfmoua3l6vehxfl7hnuleslv34