Dendrimers are well-defined three-dimensional hyper-branched macromolecules whose physiochemical properties provide distinct advantages in their use as scale inhibitors in reverse osmosis applications. Dendrimers and dendritic structures are ubiquitous in nature, however, their implementation in commercial and industrial applications is growing and providing an exciting avenue to explore new opportunities and challenge conventional chemistries. This paper will study the unique chemical and physical properties of dendrimers and explore diverse membrane-based applications that the dendrimer can be used for.
The dendrimers discussed in this paper are synthetically engineered to allow their functionality to be tailored to two complex mechanisms required for scale inhibition: chelation and dispersion. Laboratory studies were conducted to provide an objective measure of the dendrimer’s chelation and dispersion capabilities for various organic and inorganic compounds. A case study will also be presented highlighting the inherent performance, logistical, and economic benefits associated with implementing Dendrimer-based technologies in full-scale systems.
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