Exploration of polyepoxysuccinic acid as a novel draw solution in the forward osmosis process

Publication Type:
Journal Article
RSC Advances, 2017, 7 (49), pp. 30687 - 30698
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© 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Polyepoxysuccinic acid (PESA) is a green corrosion scale inhibitor. When PESA is used for wastewater desalination in the forward osmosis (FO) process, the diluted PESA solution could be used for cooling systems. In our investigation, the effects of membrane orientation, temperature and flow rate on FO performance are studied using PESA as a draw solute. The results show that the effect of temperature on water flux is obvious, but the water flux increase is higher from 25 °C to 35 °C than that from 35 °C to 45 °C. Compared to the FO mode, the water flux increases faster in the pressure-retarded osmosis mode (PRO mode) at high flow rate due to the reduction of concentrative internal concentration polarization (CICP). Compared with polyaspartic acid (PASP) and NaCl, the water flux of PESA is the lowest under the same conditions. However, PESA has the lowest specific reverse solute flux (Js/Jw) at both membrane orientations. For example in the FO mode this value is 0.46 g L-1, whereas that of NaCl and PASP is 1.12 and 0.74 g L-1, respectively. This means that PESA has lower loss to the feed side than NaCl and PASP in the FO process, which greatly reduces the replenishment cost of the draw solute. The use of PESA as the draw solute in the FO process to treat dyeing water has the advantages of stable water flux (within 20 min), high dye rejection (nearly 1) and reversible membrane fouling (restored to 97%). The nanofiltration (NF) process indicates the good performance of PESA recovery with a high specific water flux (0.94 LMH per bar) and rejection rate (97.8%). Thus, the overall performance of PESA demonstrates that it is a promising draw solute.
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