Desalination is expected to make a substantial contribution to water supply in the United States by 2020. Currently, reverse osmosis is one of the most cost effective and widely used desalination technologies. The tendency to form scale deposits during reverse osmosis is an important factor in determining the suitability of input waters for use in desalination. The tendency toward scale formation of samples of saline ground water from selected geologic units in New Mexico was assessed using simulated evaporation. All saline water samples showed a strong tendency to form CaCO3 scale deposits. Saline ground water samples from the Yeso Formation and the San Andres Limestone showed relatively stronger tendencies to form CaSO4 2H2O scale deposits and relatively weaker tendencies to form SiO2(a) scale deposits than saline ground water samples from the Rio Grande alluvium. Tendencies toward scale formation in saline ground water samples from the Dockum Group were highly variable. The tendencies toward scale formation of saline waters from the Yeso Formation, San Andres Limestone, and Rio Grande alluvium appear to correlate with the mineralogical composition of the geologic units, suggesting that scale-forming tendencies are governed by aquifer composition and water-rock interaction. ?? 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Aquifer composition and the tendency toward scale-deposit formation during reverse osmosis desalination - Examples from saline ground water in New Mexico, USA