Model Predictions and Experiments for Rotating Reverse Osmosis for Space Mission Water Reuse

Sangho Lee, Richard M. Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Reverse osmosis (RO) is an efficient process for the removal of ionic and organic pollutants from wastewater. However, flux decline and rejection deterioration due to concentration polarization and membrane fouling hinders the application of RO technology. Rotating RO, which takes advantage of high shear and the Taylor-Couette flow instability to reduce the flux decline related to concentration polarization and membrane fouling, was investigated as a novel method for space mission wastewater recovery. Mass transfer in rotating RO was experimentally determined based on film theory. The model developed for rotating RO allows the prediction of flux and pollutant rejection over a wide range of design and operational parameters. The model matches the experimental results from a laboratory-scale rotating RO system very well. According to the model, rotating RO shows better flux and rejection than a non-rotating system by effectively reducing concentration polarization. Operating parameters, such as rotational speed and transmembrane pressure, play an important role in determining the flux and rejection in rotating RO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-561
Number of pages23
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • Concentration polarization
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Rotating filtration
  • Space mission
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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