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  DuPont's Testimonial Letter  IDA2015 Paper: The SMART Solution

This innovative technology is a proven and effective solution to the most critical problem facing membrane technology applications: membrane fouling. Developed out of extensive field experience in RO and other membrane plants around the world in the past 35 years, SMARTTM calculates and displays (via your MASAR® software program) a unique, real-time fouling monitoring tool that detects, measures and monitors fouling development as early as it starts to occur in your system.

This innovative system gives you, the plant operator or owner, a tangible and actionable early-warning alarm , called the Fouling Monitor (FM). Monitoring the FM parameter on a daily basis and in real-time allows you to constantly monitor the health of your plant and take corrective action whenever needed and as soon as possible so that your plant does not have to suffer subsequent and costly losses in water productivity, quality and availability if fouling is allowed to progress undetected.

Your ability to monitor and measure your plant's actual performance, not long-term trending, with this universal and versatile system, will certainly have a significant positive impact on your plant's operational efficiency, true performance, membrane useful life and operational costs.

This graph, based on actual design and operating data from a major high-brackish RO plant, using seawater HFF membranes, shows how:
MASAR®'s Fouling Monitor - Biofouliong BRO Plant
The ASTM-normalized flux decline curve showed that the plant performed very well and much better than its projected design in the first two years of operation. However, significant membrane fouling suddenly started to be exhibited at the plant at about 17,000 hours of operation (end of second year). This has resulted in a rapid loss of productivity. Extensive and more frequent membrane cleanings were performed in order to restore performance, but success was only temporarily and lasted less and less each time. Eventually, the plant was not even producing the guaranteed flow and salt passage. With irreversible damage, major membrane replacements, at significant cost, became mandatory in order to recover lost performance. The source of biofouling that was discovered then was subsequently identified and corrected, but only after the plant suffered major losses in availability and productivity, as well as unscheduled membrane cleanings and replacements.

The system would have discovered the biofouling as early as the end of the first year of operation, at about 9,000 hours, when the FM started to rise from 0.8% at the end of the first year to 8.2% and 15.7% by the end of the second, at about 17,000 hours. By the time the ASTM normalized flux decline exhibited the fouling problem at a very late stage, the FM reached 20% at about 27,000 hours of operation. By monitoring the FM, plant personnel would have realized what was happening in their system a many months before the sudden performance deterioration was actually witnessed in the plant. They would have then trouble-shooted the problem, discovered the fouling source and corrected it.    

This would have translated into significant reductions in plant down time, maintenance and operating costs while assuring that plant always produced or exceeded the design quantity and quality of water with maximum operational efficiency and availability.

MASAR®'s Monitoring Screen - SWRO Plant

This MASAR® software screen display is based on the results of monitoring a one million GPD brackish RO/NF demonstration plant for the City of Port Hueneme, California, USA.

It shows how SMARTTM would have discovered and identified the on-going biofouling problem many months before it was actually detected too late at the plant, resulting in significant performance losses and subsequent reduction in plant availability, productivity and cost-effectiveness. The system continued to show that the nanofiltration train, unlike the RO train, still suffers a performance problem, later verified as a membrane manufacturing defect even after the biofouling problem was corrected!

MASAR®'s Flow Diagram


Experience at Penneshaw Seawater Desalination Plant, Pelekani, SA Corp. - A Case History
Real-Time Membrane Fouling Monitoring, J Richardson, Port Hueneme, USA - A Case History
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SMART Software Optimizes Membrane Plants
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