(19)
(11)EP 3 357 559 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.03.2020 Bulletin 2020/13

(21)Application number: 16851981.7

(22)Date of filing:  26.07.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B01D 61/02(2006.01)
B01D 61/08(2006.01)
B01D 63/10(2006.01)
B01D 61/10(2006.01)
C02F 1/44(2006.01)
B01D 65/08(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2016/008164
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/057833 (06.04.2017 Gazette  2017/14)

(54)

REVERSE OSMOSIS FILTER MODULE

UMKEHROSMOSE-FILTERMODUL

MODULE DE FILTRE À OSMOSE INVERSE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.09.2015 KR 20150137812
25.07.2016 KR 20160094188

(43)Date of publication of application:
08.08.2018 Bulletin 2018/32

(73)Proprietor: LG Chem, Ltd.
Yeongdeungpo-gu Seoul 07336 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHOI, Junwon
    Daejeon 34122 (KR)
  • IM, Ye Hoon
    Daejeon 34122 (KR)
  • SON, Hyoung Joon
    Daejeon 34122 (KR)
  • GEE, Young Myung
    Daejeon 34122 (KR)

(74)Representative: Goddar, Heinz J. 
Boehmert & Boehmert Anwaltspartnerschaft mbB Pettenkoferstrasse 22
80336 München
80336 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-2013/085755
KR-B1- 100 976 074
US-A1- 2012 328 844
KR-A- 20140 107 214
US-A1- 2003 205 520
US-A1- 2015 157 980
  
  • VROUWENVELDER J S ET AL: "Biofouling in spiral wound membrane systems: Three-dimensional CFD model based evaluation of experimental data", JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE, ELSEVIER BV, NL, vol. 346, no. 1, 1 January 2010 (2010-01-01), pages 71-85, XP026705417, ISSN: 0376-7388, DOI: 10.1016/J.MEMSCI.2009.09.025 [retrieved on 2009-09-15]
  • GUILLEN, GREG ET AL.: 'Modeling the Impacts of Feed Spacer Geometry on Reverse Osmosis and Nanofiltration Processes' CHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL vol. 149, 2009, pages 221 - 231, XP026077481
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

[Technical Field]



[0001] The present invention relates to a reverse osmosis filter module including an improved feed spacer, and particularly, to a reverse osmosis filter module including an improved feed spacer which has an asymmetric diameter in an intersection in which a first set of filaments and a second set of filaments intersect, thereby reducing differential pressure by increasing a cross-sectional area of a flow path, and mitigating concentration polarization by developing a swirl flow.

[Background Art]



[0002] The lack of water caused by global warming is getting worse globally, and thus water purification technologies for ensuring alternative water resources have attracted attention.

[0003] Therefore, a water treatment process, which uses a reverse osmosis membrane which is a key technology for next-generation waterworks that utilize alternative water resources such as seawater desalination, water recycling, and the like, is expected to dominate industrial water markets.

[0004] Reverse osmosis membrane permeable water made by the reverse osmosis membrane becomes pure water or water very close to pure water, and used in various field such as fields related to medical sterile water, purified water for artificial dialysis, or water for manufacturing semiconductors in an electronic field.

[0005] Here, the reverse osmosis refers to a phenomenon in which a predetermined difference in water level occurs while a solution with low concentration is moved to a solution with high concentration when a predetermined period of time has passed after the two solutions having a difference in concentration are separated by a semipermeable membrane. In addition, a difference in water level occurring during this process refers to reverse osmotic pressure. An apparatus, which purifies water by allowing only water molecules to pass through the semipermeable membrane by using this principle, is referred to as a reverse osmosis facility, and the semipermeable membrane used for the reverse osmosis facility is a reverse osmosis filter module.

[0006] The reverse osmosis filter module includes a central tube, a feed spacer, a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane, and a tricot permeate water channel.

[0007] Among the components, the feed spacer serves as a passageway through which raw water is introduced. Differential pressure occurs as a flow of raw water is hindered by the feed spacer when the raw water is introduced through the feed spacer, which results in an increase in energy costs, and as a result, the lower the differential pressure, the greater the efficiency of the reverse osmosis filter module.

[0008] Meanwhile, a concentration polarization phenomenon inevitably occurs in the vicinity of the reverse osmosis membrane due to a water permeation flux, and as the concentration polarization phenomenon becomes worse, the osmotic pressure is increased in the vicinity of the reverse osmosis membrane, such that water permeability deteriorates.

[0009] US 2015/157980 A1 relates to gas separation and discloses a spacer for spiral wound modules. The spacer comprises intersection portions of threads, where the thickness becomes drastically thick, as compared with the portions where only the thread having a thread diameter is present, not the thread intersection portion. US 2003/205520 A1 and VROUWENVELDER J S ET AL: "Biofouling in spiral wound membrane system: Threedimensional CFD model based evaluation of experimental data", JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE, ELSEVIER BV. NL, vol. 346, no. 1, 1 January 2010 (2010-01-01), pages 71-85,XP026705417 disclose spacers having filaments of increased diameter at the intersections between filaments. In this regard, there is a need for a feed spacer capable of increasing efficiency of the reverse osmosis filter module by reducing the occurrence of differential pressure and mitigating the concentration polarization phenomenon.

[Detailed Description of the Invention]


[Technical Problem]



[0010] An object of the present invention is to provide a reverse osmosis filter capable of increasing efficiency of the reverse osmosis filter module by reducing the occurrence of differential pressure and mitigating the concentration polarization phenomenon.

[Technical Solution]



[0011] This object is solved by a module according to claim 1.

[0012] In particular, the length of the intersection, measured along the filament axis, may have a ratio of 0.2 to 0.4 with respect to a lattice length of the feed spacer.

[0013] In particular, a thinning parameter in the intersection may be 1.2 or more, wherein the thinning parameter means a thickness ratio of an asymmetric portion in the intersection to a thin portion based on the thickness of the first set of filaments and/or the second set of filaments.

[0014] In particular, the thinning parameter in the intersection may have a range from 1.2 to 1.4.

[Advantageous Effects]



[0015] According to the present invention, the reverse osmosis filter module is designed to have an asymmetric diameter in the intersection in which the first set of filaments and the second set of filaments intersect, and as a result, it is possible to reduce differential pressure by increasing a cross-sectional area of a flow path, and to mitigate concentration polarization by developing a swirl flow.

[0016] In addition, with the aforementioned effect, it is possible to further increase efficiency of the reverse osmosis filter module.

[Brief Description of Drawings]



[0017] 

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C are schematic views of feed spacers in the related art which are used for a reverse osmosis filter module.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a feed spacer used for the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B are a front view and a cross-sectional side view of the feed spacer used for the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.


[Best Mode]



[0018] Hereinafter, an exemplary embodiment of a reverse osmosis filter module according to the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Here, thicknesses of lines illustrated in the drawings, sizes of constituent elements, or the like may be exaggerated for clarity and convenience of description. In addition, the terms used in the following description are defined considering the functions in the present invention and may vary depending on the intention or usual practice of a user or an operator. Therefore, the definition of the terms should be made based on the entire contents of the present specification.

<Reverse Osmosis Filter Module>



[0019] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C are schematic views of feed spacers in the related art which are used for a reverse osmosis filter module, FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a feed spacer used for the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention, and FIGS. 4A and 4B are a front view and a cross-sectional side view of the feed spacer used for the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] Hereinafter, the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention will be specifically described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4.

[0021] The reverse osmosis membrane module 100 is a constituent element of a membrane separation device that serves to purify actually supplied water by using the reverse osmosis principle.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 1, the reverse osmosis membrane module 100 may include a reverse osmosis membrane 10, a feed spacer 20, a tricot permeate water channel 30, and a tube 40 having an opening (not illustrated) for accommodating a permeable liquid in a longitudinal direction. Although not illustrated, the reverse osmosis membrane module 100 may further include a pair of anti-telescoping devices, but a specific description thereof will be omitted.

[0023] The one or more reverse osmosis membranes 10 serve to filter the water to remove foreign substances contained in the water by using the osmosis, and also serve as flow paths through which purified water effectively flows.

[0024] The one or more reverse osmosis membranes 10 extend outward from the tube 40 and are wound around the tube 40.

[0025] The feed spacer 20 forms a passageway through which raw water is introduced from the outside, and serves to maintain an interval between one reverse osmosis membrane 10 and the other reverse osmosis membrane 10. To this end, upper and lower sides of the feed spacer 20 are in contact with the one or more reverse osmosis membranes 10, and the feed spacer 20 is configured to be wound around the tube 40, similar to the one or more reverse osmosis membranes 10.

[0026] Here, a material of the feed spacer 20 is not particularly limited, but the feed spacer 20 may be made of any one of polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyester, and polypropylene.

[0027] Meanwhile, a specific configuration of the feed spacer 20 will be described below.

[0028] The tricot permeate water channel 30 has a general fabric structure, and serves as a flow path forming a space through which the water purified by the reverse osmosis membrane 10 may flow to the outside.

[0029] In this case, it is noted that the tricot permeate water channel 30 is configured to have strength sufficient to withstand hydraulic pressure because fabric tissue lines of the tricot permeate water channel 30 need to move an appropriate amount of water while preventing the water from being blocked between the lines and while withstanding hydraulic pressure occurring when the reverse osmosis membrane module 100 operates.

[0030] The tube 40 is positioned at a center of the reverse osmosis filter module 100 for a water treatment, and serves to a passageway through which the filtered water is introduced and discharged.

[0031] To this end, an air gap or opening having a predetermined size may be formed outside the tube 40 so that the filtered water may be introduced. In this case, one or more air gaps may be formed so that the filtered water may be more efficiently introduced.

[0032] Meanwhile, the feed spacer 20 according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention is configured such that a first set 21 of parallel filaments and a second set 22 of parallel filaments intersect, and in this case, one or more of the first set 21 of filaments and/or one or more of the second set 22 of filaments may have an asymmetric diameter in the vicinity of an intersection part in the vicinity of an endpoint where the first set 21 of filaments and the second set 22 of filaments intersect.

[0033] Referring to feed spacers 20a, 20b, and 20c in the related art, it can be seen that the diameters of the filaments are not changed but maintained as it is at the points where the two sets of parallel filaments intersect (see FIG. 2A), the diameters of the filaments are decreased at the points where the two sets of parallel filaments intersect (see FIG. 2B), or the diameters of the filaments are increased at the points where the two sets of parallel filaments intersect (see FIG. 2C). In addition, it can be seen that the diameters of the filaments are symmetrically increased or decreased based on the cross sections of the filaments.

[0034] However, the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention is configured such that only outer portions of the first set 21 of filaments and/or the second set 22 of filaments protrude outward in the intersection, and more specifically, only the outer portion of the filament partially protrudes outward, but a portion of the filament, which is opposite to the protruding portion, is maintained as it is, and as a result, it is possible to implement an asymmetric cross-sectional shape of the filaments while increasing the cross-sectional area of the flow path (see FIGS. 4A and 4B).

[0035] In this case, an intersection L2 may have a ratio of 0.2 to 0.4 with respect to a lattice length L1 of the feed spacer 20. The reason is that it is difficult to generate a sufficient swirl flow if the ratio is less than 0.2, and the cross-sectional area is decreased such that differential pressure is increased if the ratio is more than 0.4.

[0036] In addition, a thinning parameter of the first set 21 of filaments and/or the second set 22 of filaments in the intersection L2 may be 1.2 or more, particularly, 1.3 or more.

[0037] The reason is that when the thinning parameter is as large as possible in a state in which a size of a thick portion is fixed, the cross-sectional area of the flow path is increased, such that the differential pressure is reduced, and a degree to which the swirl flow is generated is not greatly affected.

[0038] Here, it is noted that the thinning parameter means a thickness ratio of an asymmetric portion W2 in the intersection L2 to a thin portion W1 based on the thicknesses of the first set 21 of filaments and/or the second set 22 of filaments.

[0039] Meanwhile, the drawings illustrate that both of the first set 21 of filaments and the second set 22 of filaments have the asymmetric diameter, but it is noted that only one or more of the cross sections of the first set 21 of filaments and the second set 22 of filaments may have the asymmetric diameter.

[0040] With this configuration, the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention is designed such that one or more of the first set 21 of filaments and the second set 22 of filaments have the asymmetric diameter in the intersection L2 in which the first set 21 of filaments and the second set 22 of filaments intersect, and as a result, it is possible to reduce differential pressure by increasing the cross-sectional area of the flow path, and to mitigate concentration polarization by developing a swirl flow.

<Experimental Example>



[0041] The feed spacer 20 according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention was compared with the feed spacers (see FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C) in the related art used for the reverse osmosis filter module in terms of differential pressure ΔP[Pa], average vorticity in a flow direction, and recovery performance.

[0042] To this end, the aforementioned four products were compared in terms of differential pressure, average vorticity in a flow direction, and recovery performance in a state in which only the feed spacers are replaced and other conditions are equally maintained, and the comparison results are shown in Table 1. The experiment region is as follows.

* Width × Length × Height (Thickness): 7.75mm × 15.5mm × 0.66mm

* Inlet Velocity: 0.3m/s

[Table 1]
 Differential Pressure (ΔP[Pa])Average Vorticity in Flow DirectionRecovery (%)
Comparative Example 1 1,238 1,531 6.75
Comparative Example 2 1,071 1,340 6.35
Comparative Example 3 986 1,380 6.73
Example 958 1,399 6.85


[0043] As described above, Comparative Example 1 uses a feed spacer having filaments with a diameter which is maintained without being changed at an intersection point, Comparative Example 2 uses a feed spacer having filaments with a diameter which is decreased at an intersection point, Comparative Example 3 uses a feed spacer having filaments with a diameter which is increased at an intersection point, and the Example uses the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention having the filaments with the diameter which is asymmetrically and partially increased at the intersection point.

[0044] Referring to Table 1, it can be seen that (a) differential pressure is 1,238 Pa and average vorticity in a flow direction is 1,531 in Comparative Example 1, (b) differential pressure is 1,071 Pa and average vorticity in a flow direction is 1,340 in Comparative Example 2, (c) differential pressure is 986 Pa and average vorticity in a flow direction is 1,380 in Comparative Example 3, and (d) differential pressure is 958 Pa and average vorticity in a flow direction is 1,399 in the Example.

[0045] In this case, considering that the structure becomes more advantageous in terms of a flow as the differential pressure becomes lower, it has been confirmed that the Example using the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention has lowest differential pressure, such that the flow is smooth, and the Example is advantageous in ensuring the flow path.

[0046] In addition, considering that the concentration polarization phenomenon is mitigated well as a degree to which the swirl flow is generated becomes greater, it has been confirmed that the Example using the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention generates the swirl flow at a significantly higher level, and a flow of salt becomes smooth in the vicinity of the reverse osmosis membrane.

[0047] Referring back to Table 1, it can be seen that (a) recovery of Comparative Example 1 is 6.75%, (b) recovery of Comparative Example 2 is 6.35%, (c) recovery of Comparative Example 3 is 6.73%, and (d) recovery of the Example is 6.85%.

[0048] Consequently, based on the aforementioned situations, it can be seen that the feed spacer 20 according to the present invention minimizes differential pressure by changing shapes of filaments (or strands) having the same maximum and minimum diameters, and improves recovery performance by increasing the occurrence of the swirl flow.


Claims

1. A reverse osmosis filter module (100) comprising:

a tube which includes an opening that is configured to accommodate a permeable liquid in a longitudinal direction;

one or more reverse osmosis membranes (10) which extends outward from the tube and are wound around the tube; and

a feed spacer (20) which is in contact with the one or more reverse osmosis membranes and wound around the tube,

wherein the feed spacer (20) is configured such that a first set (21) of parallel filaments and a second set (22) of parallel filaments intersect, and one or more of the first set (21) of filaments or one or more of the second set (22) of filaments have an asymmetric diameter formed as partial regions of outer surfaces of the filaments protruding outwardly in an intersection in which the first set (21) of filaments and the second set (22) of filaments intersect, characterized in that only the outer portion of the filament partially protrudes outward, but a portion of the filament, which is opposite to the protruding portion, is maintained as it is, and as a result, it is possible to implement an asymmetric cross-sectional shape of the filaments while increasing the cross-sectional area of a flow path.


 
2. The reverse osmosis filter module (100) of claim 1, wherein the length of the intersection, measured along the filament axis, has a ratio of 0.2 to 0.4 with respect to a lattice length Li of the feed spacer (20).
 
3. The reverse osmosis filter module (100) of claim 1, wherein a thinning parameter in the intersection is 1.2 or more, wherein the thinning parameter means a thickness ratio of an asymmetric portion W2 in the intersection to a thin portion W1 based on the thickness of the first set (21) of filaments and/or the second set (22) of filaments.
 
4. The reverse osmosis filter module (100) of claim 3, wherein the thinning parameter in the intersection has a range from 1.2 to 1.4.
 


Ansprüche

1. Umkehrosmose-Filtermodul (100), umfassend:

ein Rohr, das eine Öffnung enthält, die zur Aufnahme einer permeablen Flüssigkeit in einer Längsrichtung konfiguriert ist;

eine oder mehrere Umkehrosmose-Membranen (10), die sich vom Rohr nach außen erstreckt/erstrecken und um das Rohr gewickelt ist/sind; und

ein Zufuhrdistanzelement (20), das mit der einen oder den mehreren Umkehrosmose-Membranen in Kontakt steht und um das Rohr gewickelt ist,

wobei das Zufuhrdistanzelement (20) so konfiguriert ist, dass eine erste Gruppe (21) von parallelen Filamenten und eine zweite Gruppe (22) von parallelen Filamenten sich schneiden, und eines oder mehrere der ersten Gruppe (21) von Filamenten oder eines oder mehrere der zweiten Gruppe (22) von Filamenten einen asymmetrischen Durchmesser aufweist/aufweisen, der als Teilregionen von Außenflächen der Filamente gebildet ist, die in einer Überschneidung nach außen vorragen, in der die erste Gruppe (21) von Filamenten und die zweite Gruppe (22) von Filamenten sich schneiden, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass nur der äußere Bereich des Filaments teilweise nach außen vorragt, aber ein Bereich des Filaments, der sich gegenüber dem vorragenden Bereich befindet, beibehalten ist, und es als Ergebnis möglich ist, eine asymmetrische Querschnittsgestalt der Filamente zu implementieren, während die Querschnittsfläche eines Strömungswegs vergrößert wird.


 
2. Umkehrosmose-Filtermodul (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Länge der Überschneidung, gemessen entlang der Filamentachse, ein Verhältnis von 0,2 bis 0,4 in Bezug auf eine Gitterlänge (L1) des Zufuhrdistanzelements (20) aufweist.
 
3. Umkehrosmose-Filtermodul (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei ein Ausdünnungsparameter in der Überschneidung 1,2 oder mehr beträgt, wobei der Ausdünnungsparameter ein Dickenverhältnis aus einem asymmetrischen Bereich W2 in der Überschneidung zu einem dünnen Bereich W1 basierend auf der Dicke der ersten Gruppe (21) von Filamenten und/oder der zweiten Gruppe (22) von Filamenten bedeutet.
 
4. Umkehrosmose-Filtermodul (100) nach Anspruch 3, wobei der Ausdünnungsparameter in der Überschneidung einen Bereich von 1,2 bis 1,4 aufweist.
 


Revendications

1. Module de filtre à osmose inverse (100) comprenant :

un tube qui inclut une ouverture qui est configurée pour accueillir un liquide perméable dans une direction longitudinale ;

une ou plusieurs membranes d'osmose inverse (10) qui s'étendent vers l'extérieur du tube et sont enroulées autour du tube ; et

un intercalaire d'alimentation (20) qui est en contact avec la ou les membranes d'osmose inverse et enroulé autour du tube,

dans lequel l'intercalaire d'alimentation (20) est configuré de telle sorte qu'un premier ensemble (21) de filaments parallèles et un deuxième ensemble (22) de filaments parallèles se croisent et un or plusieurs premiers ensembles (21) de filaments ou un or plusieurs deuxièmes ensembles (22) de filaments ont un diamètre asymétrique formé aux régions partielles de surfaces extérieure des filaments saillant vers l'extérieur dans une intersection dans laquelle le premier ensemble (21) de filaments et le deuxième ensemble (22) de filaments se croisent,

caractérisé en ce que seule la partie extérieure du filament dépasse partiellement vers l'extérieur, mais une partie du filament, qui est à l'opposé de la partie saillante, est maintenue telle quelle, et par conséquent, il est possible de mettre en œuvre une forme transversale asymétrique des filaments tout en augmentant la zone transversale d'un trajet d'écoulement.


 
2. Module de filtre à osmose inverse (100) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la longueur de l'intersection, mesurée le long de l'axe du filament, a un rapport de 0,2 à 0,4 avec une longueur de treillis L1 de l'intercalaire d'alimentation (20).
 
3. Module de filtre à osmose inverse (100) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un paramètre d'amincissement dans l'intersection est égal ou supérieur à 1,2, dans lequel le paramètre d'amincissement désigne un rapport d'épaisseur d'une partie asymétrique W2 dans l'intersection à une partie mince W1 sur la base de l'épaisseur du premier ensemble (21) de filaments et/ou du deuxième ensemble (22) de filaments.
 
4. Module de filtre à osmose inverse (100) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le paramètre d'amincissement dans l'intersection est compris entre 1,2 et 1,4.
 




Drawing

















Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description