ABSTRACT: The removal of bacteriophage MS2 and fluorescent-dyed polystyrene microspheres with intact and purposely compromised spiral-wound RO membrane elements was investigated. MS2 rejection with intact membrane elements was >99.9995%. A model developed for data evaluation revealed that the advective passage of MS2 through imperfections of intact membrane elements was <2 x 10(-5)% of the overall product water flow produced. The advective passage of MS2 and microspheres through a pinhole induced in one of the elements was 0.05-0.1% of the overall product water flow. Prolonged testing of both intact and compromised elements resulted in increased MS2 rejection corresponding to advective MS2 passage through membrane imperfections of <3 x 10(-7)% of the overall product water flow. The permeate flow rate obtained with an element with a larger pinhole was 5-13% greater than that of the intact element, and the corresponding rejection of MS2 and microspheres was similar to that observed for sodium chloride. The use of a cracked o-ring in the connection of the permeate tube to the element vessel end-cup resulted in advective passage of MS2 through the crack of <0.0001% of the overall permeate flow.
Water Research 11/2004; 38(18):3821-32. · 4.86 Impact Factor