Control of scale formation in reverse osmosis by membrane rotation

Sangho Lee, Richard M. Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Scale formation of soluble salts is one of the major factors limiting the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. In this study, rotating RO, which takes advantage of Taylor-Couette flow instabilities to reduce concentration polarization and membrane fouling, was investigated as a novel method to control CaSO4 scale formation. The permeate flux for rotating RO at ω = 180 rpm remains constant up to a volume concentration factor (VCF) of 4.2, while the permeate flux declines steadily with increasing VCF for no rotation. This is probably because vortices in rotating RO induce bulk crystallization and prevent scale particle deposition on the membrane surface. The anti-scaling effect in rotating RO increases with increasing rotational speed and depends to some extent on transmembrane pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-139
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2003


  • Concentration polarization
  • Dynamic filtration
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Scale formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of scale formation in reverse osmosis by membrane rotation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this