Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2011, Article ID 523124, 9 pages
Review Article

Reverse Osmosis and Membrane Distillation for Desalination of Groundwater: A Review

1Sir Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, University of Pune, Chincholi, Nashik 422 101, India
2National Chemical Laboratory, Pune 411008, India

Received 3 April 2011; Accepted 10 May 2011

Academic Editors: M. Giovannini and N. Munroe

Copyright © 2011 Bhausaheb L. Pangarkar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years, the increasing threat to groundwater quality due to human activities has become a matter of great concern. The groundwater quality problems present today are caused by contamination and by overexploitation, or by combination of both, which are faced by many Indian states. Today, reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are the leading technology for desalination of groundwater because of their strong separation capabilities and exhibiting a great potential for treatment of waters worldwide. However, the RO process had some problems due to the formation of polarization films because high pressure operation and by-products which may generate bacteria and fouling. Also, high energy consumption and brine disposal problem is faced in RO process due to the limited recovery of water. These problems may be overcome by other membrane thermal process such as a membrane distillation (MD). This paper addresses the outline of RO and MD process for desalination. RO has developed over the past 40 years and MD is an emerging technology for brackish water desalination and yet is not fully implemented in industry. The MD is the better alternative to RO for desalination theoretically found in the literature.