Although utilizing an antiscalant enables scaling saturation to be reduced to under 100% for each scaling compound, scaling is not completely removed from occurring in the RO plant. From the first day of operation, fouling of the membranes will occur as organic or inorganic scaling or fouling. Preventative maintenance to remove the fouling must occur periodically to the membranes to ensure their performance and longevity.
The major scaling that will occur in your RO plant will be that of Calcium Carbonate and Silica. Removal is performed by what is termed a CIP (Clean in Process) function, which uses an alkaline and acid wash to rinse and remove scale and fouling from the membrane wall. This should occur periodically and equivalent to 6 to 8 month intervals of continuous work, as well as prior to long idle times.
The CIP process is not difficult or complex, just time consuming as the membranes are required to be soaked for several hours. In low salt feed water the use of a good antiscalant dosing regimen extends the life of the membranes so that the cost of a CIP clean versus the longevity of the membranes, and eventual replacement, is a more economical option. As such, the membranes are replaced when required, but with careful management and a good antiscalant process in place, we are finding membranes to last 2-3 years.
Due to most existing RO plants not having their own built in CIP cleaners, AWS has designed specific CIP units. These stand-alone CIP units vary in size and can be purchased or rented.
For existing RO systems with no CIP cleaners, AWS makes available its small and large CIP to rent to all prospective clients at a minimal cost providing they use AWS range of Genesys Chemicals with the clean.
Assistance for the first clean is provided and the CIP unit is left with the customer for subsequent cleans.
Our CIP units are skid mounted with independent heaters, electrical panels, storage tanks, pH and temperature monitors, VSD Pumps, flow meter and hoses.
Alternatively, AWS can build to purpose your own tried and proven performance CIP unit.