Abstract

Reverse osmosis is the most employed technology for water desalination. However, membrane fouling is inevitable and one of the main reasons for membrane replacement. This article summarizes the most representative management routes of discarded end-of-life membranes investigated to date. Landfill disposal, reuse, direct recycling, indirect recycling, and energy recovery are evaluated. The present study also shows decision-making tools such as MemEol and life cycle assessment, which can be used to boost this technology towards a more environmentally friendly waste management framework. Furthermore, a business model of a hypothetical recycling membrane plant is developed.

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