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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2011 Sep 1;361(1):79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2011.05.044. Epub 2011 May 23.

Impact of pulsed electric field on electrodialysis process performance and membrane fouling during consecutive demineralization of a model salt solution containing a high magnesium/calcium ratio.

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  • 1Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF) and Dairy Research Center (STELA), Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Universit√© Laval, Sainte-Foy (Qc), Canada.


Pulsed electric fields (PEFs), hashed modes of current consisting in the application of a constant current density during a fixed time (Ton) followed by a pause lapse (Toff), were recently demonstrated as an effective alternative for mineral fouling mitigation and process intensification during electrodialysis (ED) treatments. Recent ED studies have continuously reported a considerable mineral fouling formation on ion-exchange membranes, especially during the demineralization of solutions containing a high Mg/Ca ratio and a basified concentrate solution. The aim of this study was to evaluate the process performance under two different PEF conditions on a mineral solution containing a mineral mixture giving a high Mg(2+)/Ca(2+) ratio of 2/5. Two different pause-lapse durations (PEF ratio 1 (Ton/Toff 10s/10s); PEF ratio 0.3 (Ton/Toff 10s/33.3 s)) during consecutive ED treatments and their comparison with dc current were evaluated at a current density of 40 mA/cm(2). Our results showed that PEFs resulted in an intensification of ED process, enhancing the demineralization rates (DRs), reducing the system resistance (SR), and reducing the fouling and energy consumption (EC). PEF ratio 1 was the most optimal condition among the current regimes applied, leading to faster and higher demineralization rates due to a lower fouling and with low energy consumption during all consecutive runs.

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