Simplified analysis of contaminant rejection during ground- and surface water nanofiltration under the information collection rule.
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A simple, closed-form analytical expression based on the homogenous solution diffusion model is derived for contaminant removal during nanofiltration (NF) of ground and surface water. Solute permeation and back-diffusion coefficients were used as fitting parameters to model rejection characteristics of four thin-film composite NF membranes under conditions typical of drinking water NF. Nonlinear fits of the model to experimental data suggests that the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA)'s Information Collection Rule protocol for bench-scale studies could be improved to obtain greater precision of the mass transfer coefficients. The model was found to fit rejection data for several water treatment contaminants including total organic carbon, precursors to total organic halide, four trihalomethanes and nine haloacetic acids containing chlorine and bromine, calcium and total hardness, alkalinity and conductivity. The simplified approach to mass transfer calculations from multisolute systems suggests that feed water recovery has a stronger influence on contaminant rejection than permeate flux. Evidence for coupled transport of divalent inorganic ions is also presented. Even though the model developed does not account for ion coupling and cannot be applied in a purely predictive mode, it can assist in the better design and interpretation of data obtained from site-specific pilot-scale water treatment NF studies conducted in support of plant design.