Modeling boron rejection in pilot- and full-scale reverse osmosis desalination processes

Pranay P. Mane, Pyung Kyu Park, Hoon Hyung, Jess C. Brown, Jae Hong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


A mechanistic predictive model was developed to simulate the rejection of boron by a spiral wound reverse osmosis (RO) membrane element under varying water quality and operating conditions. This model was verified with pilot-scale experiments performed at different pHs and pressures. The model was further applied to simulate boron rejection in pilot- and full-scale RO processes. Simulation results suggest that boron rejection decreases as pH and operating pressure decrease and as temperature increases. A full-scale simulation suggests that boron rejection is also greatly affected by the overall process recovery. The modeling approach presented in this study can be useful for process design and optimization. For example, it can be used to predict boron removal performance of existing facilities under modified pH conditions or to evaluate different membrane configurations under varying operating conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Desalination and Water Purification Research and Development Program, Bureau of Reclamation, US Department of Interior (Agreement no. 04-FC-81-050, Project Manager: Frank Leitz) and Seawater Engineering & Architecture of High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (SeaHero) project by Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. It was also partially supported by Carollo Engineers P.C. and Saehan Industries Inc. Authors would also like to acknowledge Dr. Jong-Sang Park at Saehan Inc. for performing the pilot-scale experiments presented in this study.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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