1104_Prediction of the behaviour of the Silt Density Index (SDI) in the Caribbean Seawater

Title: Prediction of the behaviour of the Silt Density Index (SDI) in the Caribbean Seawater and its impact on RO desalination plants 

Journal: Desalination
Authors: C. Riverola, , , and M.V. Pilipovikb
a Chemical Engineering Department, University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago
b Project Department, JC Engineering, Los Palos Grandes Caracas, Venezuela

The original and creativity of paper: This paper investigated the seasonal characteristic of seawater in the Caribbean. The model allows predicting the behavior of the SDI using field data, i.e. turbidity and salinity, taking into account the tides and seasonal changes including hurricane and dry seasons.


Since the quality of the seawater depends on the seasons therefore, they are not constant along the year. Hence, it is necessary to study effect of seasonal change to seawater quality. Up to now, number papers have illustrated only a deep study of the seasonal influence of Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf. Authors found that there is no reference of the Caribbean and South America. Therefore, they adapt the artificial intelligence model to predict the different conditions of seawater along the year. The artificial network was simulated using two years data. Model was train with 155 training data set for various numbers of hidden neurons in each layer. The number of layers selected was two and the number of neurons in each layer was chosen based on the lowest RMS error. The results show that there is no direct correlation between the turbidity of the water and SDI; however, the prediction of its behavior can be applied as indication of the fouling potential due to undissolved particles of the feed water to RO membranes. Moreover, the data obtained during two years indicated that during the hurricane season, the fluctuations are more frequent due to the change of direction of the inshore currents. Additionally, they suggested that the pre-treatment process has to be updated according to the seasonal changes for saving the operational costs during the rainy season.

Application & further study: Seasonal influence is one of the major concerns in order to study about desalination. 

By Monruedee Moonkhum
Email: moon@gist.ac.kr

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