Pilot scale membrane separation of electroplating waste water by reverse osmosis

Xijun Chai, Guohua Chen, Po Lock Yue, Yongli Mi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Electroplating waste water containing copper was treated by means of reverse osmosis (RO) membrane separation on a pilot scale. The copper concentration in the untreated waste water was 340 ppm. After the treatment, the concentration in the treated water was below 4 ppm which is the Hong Kong government discharge limit. It is shown that, by increasing transmembrane pressure drop, metal concentrations in the treated water can be further reduced. This study suggests that larger scale operations on treating electroplating waste water by RO membrane separation is possible and effective. Effects of operating variables including transmembrane pressure drop and temperature on membrane separation performance were studied and explained based on the solution-diffusion model. The present study is part of the recent investigation of industrial waste water management sponsored by the Hong Kong Government. The purpose of this project is to provide guidelines to the local industries for waste minimization which is closely monitored by the Hong Kong legislature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Electroplating copper waste water
  • Pilot scale
  • Reverse osmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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