Membrane fouling in forward osmosis processes

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Forward Osmosis: Fundamentals and Applications, 2015, pp. 217 - 240
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© 2015 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. All Rights Reserved. Several filtration systems have been applied to advanced water treatment and even conventional water treatment processes. Although the membrane filtration systems are the most feasible alternative for water treatment, several problems still remain for efficient operation of membrane filtration. Among these problems, fouling is one of the major challenges to overcome in membrane technology. Reverse osmosis (RO) membrane is a polyamide thin-film composite membrane and forward osmosis (FO) membrane is a cellulose-based membrane, thus fouling could differ between RO and FO due to different membrane surface characteristics, which are discussed in this chapter. The chapter also discusses various strategies that mitigate fouling formation in the FO process in terms of spacers, cross-flow velocity, air scouring, cross-flow type, and osmotic backwashing. The osmotic backwashing is applied to an osmotic membrane bioreactor system that utilizes a submerged FO membrane in the bioreactor.
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