Study of Atlantic Seawater Desalination

by Reverse Osmosis using a pilot plant


Etude du dessalement de l’eau de l’océan atlantique

par osmose inverse sur  une installation pilote


F. El Azhar, N. Zouhri, S. Ait habzize, M. Taky, A. Elmidaoui*

Laboratory of Separation Processes, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

University Ibn Tofail, B.P 1246, Kenitra 14000 – Morocco

* Corresponding author: E-mail:

Received: 04 June 2010; revised version accepted: 28 March 2011



     The demand of fresh water is increasing twice as fast as population growth, while the natural resources remain invariable or in reduction. Otherwise, the needs of development make that the demand will be superior to resources. For this, new techniques of drinking water production implementation by using the desalination of seawater and waste water reuse becomes a necessity.  Morocco proceeded since a long time to use other non conventional water resources such as wastewater reuse or desalinating water. The first little desalination plants were manufactured in 1986 to face the lack of potable water in the south region , today The national production capacity by desalination  exceeds the 45.000 m3/day and will increases rapidly.

     This work reports on desalination of seawater by Reverse Osmosis, using a pilot plant having two modules equipped with various spiral commercial membranes. To optimize the desalination operations, various configurations were tested: simple pass, double pass with one type or two types of membranes. The water parameters were followed as a function of the running conditions in order to follow the behavior of the tested membranes.


Keywords: Desalination; Membranes; Reverse osmosis; Salt rejection; Recovery rate; Pressure.


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