Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 31, pp 31623–31631 | Cite as

Removal of silica from brackish water by integrated adsorption/ultrafiltration process

  • Hilla ShemerEmail author
  • Nitzan Melki-Dabush
  • Raphael Semiat
Research Article


A lab-scale unit of the hybrid continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) adsorption/ultrafiltration (UF) system was used to evaluate the removal efficiency of silica from brackish water. The semi-batch adsorption process was carried out using iron oxy/hydroxide agglomerates (IOAs) as adsorbent and hollow fiber ultrafiltration membrane as a barrier to the adsorbent passage to the product water. The effect of residence time, concentration of silica, and adsorbent dosage on the silica removal and UF membrane blockage was examined. It was found that a short residence time of 15 min was sufficient to achieve the maximum adsorption capacity similar to that obtained in batch isotherm experiments. The adsorption capacity increased with the augmentation of the silica concentration and decreased with the increase in the adsorbent dosage. The UF was effectively employed to separate the loaded adsorbent without fouling the membrane until breakthrough. A simple model was applied to accurately predict the adsorption breakthrough curves.


Hybrid process Semi-batch adsorption Iron oxy/hydroxide CSTR Membrane fouling 


Funding information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Joint German-Israeli Water Technology Research Program BMBF Germany/MOST Israel.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6363_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hilla Shemer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nitzan Melki-Dabush
    • 1
  • Raphael Semiat
    • 1
  1. 1.GWRI Rabin Desalination Laboratory, Department of Chemical EngineeringTechnion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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