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Title: Optimal scheduling, design, operation and control of reverse osmosis desalination : prediction of RO membrane performance under different design and operating conditions, synthesis of RO networks using MINLP optimization framework involving fouling, boron removal, variable seawater temperature and variable fresh water demand
Author: Sassi, Kamal M.
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2012
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An accurate model for RO process has significant importance in the simulation and optimization proposes. A steady state model of RO process is developed based on solution diffusion theory to describe the permeation through membrane and thin film approach is used to describe the concentration polarization. The model is validated against the operation data reported in the literature. For the sake of clear understanding of the interaction of feed temperature and salinity on the design and operation of RO based desalination systems, simultaneous optimization of design and operation of RO network is investigated based on two-stage RO superstructure via MINLP approach. Different cases with several feed concentrations and seasonal variation of seawater temperature are presented. Also, the possibility of flexible scheduling in terms of the number of membrane modules required in operation in high and low temperature seasons is investigated A simultaneous modelling and optimization method for RO system including boron removal is then presented. A superstructure of the RO network is developed based on double pass RO network (two-stage seawater pass and one-stage brackish water pass). The MINLP problem based on the superstructure is used to find out an optimal RO network which will minimize the total annualized cost while fulfilling a given boron content limit. The effect of pH on boron rejection is investigated at deferent seawater temperatures. The optimal operation policy of RO system is then studied in this work considering variations in freshwater demand and with changing seawater temperature throughout the day. A storage tank is added to the RO layout to provide additional operational flexibility and to ensure the availability of freshwater at all times. Two optimization problems are solved incorporating two seawater temperature profiles, representing summer and winter seasons. The possibility of flexible scheduling of cleaning and maintenance of membrane modules is investigated. Then, the optimal design and operation of RO process is studied in the presence of membrane fouling and including several operational variations such as variable seawater temperature. The cleaning schedule of single stage RO process is formulated as MINLP problem using spiral wound modules. NNs based correlation has been developed based on the actual fouling data which can be used for estimating the permeability decline factors. The correlation based on actual data to predict the annual seawater temperature profile is also incorporated in the model. The proposed optimization procedure identified simultaneously the optimal maintenance schedule of RO network including its design parameters and operating policy. The steady state model of RO process is used to study the sensitivity of different operating and design parameters on the plant performance. A non-linear optimization problem is formulated to minimize specific energy consumption at fixed product flow rate and quality while optimizing the design and operating parameters. Then the MINLP formulation is used to find the optimal designs of RO layout for brackish water desalination. A variable fouling profile along the membrane stages is introduced to see how the network design and operation of the RO system are to be adjusted Finally, a preliminary control strategy for RO process is developed based on PID control algorithm and a first order transfer function (presented in the Appendix).
Supervisor: Mujtaba, Iqbal M. Sponsor: Government grant
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RO desalinations ; Modelling ; Simulation ; Optimization ; Variable fresh water demand ; Flexible scheduling ; Control ; MINLP ; gPROMS ; Desalination ; Reverse osmosis based desalination