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From the Laboratory to Full-Scale Applications of Forward Osmosis: Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • Jamshed Ali Khan
  • Ho Kyong Shon
  • Long D. NghiemEmail author
Water Pollution (G Toor and L Nghiem, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Water Pollution

Abstract

Forward osmosis (FO) has recently emerged as a new separation platform for a range of applications that are currently not possible for other membrane processes. This review paper covers key aspects of FO development with a specific emphasis on current technical challenges for practical applications. Main hurdles in the transition of FO from a lab-scale process to large scale applications include low-performance membranes, development of suitable draw solute, inherent transport phenomena (e.g. concentration polarization and reverse solute flux), membrane fouling and subsequent membrane cleaning. Several new FO membranes have been developed with some improved performances but no membrane has yet been found convincing in all of the key performance indicators. Draw solutes have been broadly investigated but mainly at the lab-scale. There have only been very few pilot-scale studies, most of them using inorganic salts as draw solutes. Development of thermo-responsive draw solutes and TFC membranes have been reported to be most effective in reducing reverse solute flux while altering the hydrodynamic conditions and the use of ultrasonication along with exploring other viable options have been suggested to tackle external and internal concentration polarization respectively. Although membrane fouling types and mitigation strategies have been extensively explored, this review also highlights the need for further research in biofouling for long-term FO operation.

Keywords

Forward osmosis Concentration polarization Reverse solute flux Membrane fouling Draw solute 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Technology in Water and WastewaterUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia
  2. 2.NTT Institute of Hi-TechnologyNguyen Tat Thanh UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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