3 years ago

New concept of pump-less forward osmosis (FO) and low-pressure membrane (LPM) process

Am Jang, Sanghyun Jeong, Sung-Ju Im, Jungwon Choi
We tested the possibility of energy-saving water treatment methods by using a pump-less forward osmosis (FO) and low-pressure membrane (LPM) hybrid process (FO-LPM). In this pump-less FO-LPM, permeate migrates from the feed solution (FS) to the draw solution (DS) through the FO membrane by use of osmotic pressure differences. At the same time, within the closed DS tank, inner pressure increases as the DS volume increases. By using the DS tank’s internal pressure, the LPM process works to re-concentrate the diluted DS, maintaining the DS concentration and producing clean water. In this study, a polymer - polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) was used as a draw solute. Based on the results of each individual portion of the process, the optimal range of the PSS DS was determined. The performance of the pump-less FO-LPM process was lower than that of a single process; however, we observed that the hybrid process can be operated without a pump for regeneration of a diluted DS. This research highlights the feasibility and applicability of pump-less FO-LPM processes using a polymeric DS for water treatment. Additionally, it is suggested that this novel process offers a breakthrough in FO technology that is often limited by operation and management cost.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15274-z

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15274-z

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