Practical considerations for full-scale application of hybrid forward osmosis system : assessment through pilot-scale experiments and full-scale simulations

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Maintaining sustainable water resources and providing clean water is a crucial challenge in this century. Since two-thirds of our earth is covered by salt water and thus desalination could be a promising technology to solve address water scarcity problems. However, current desalination is not economically viable due to high capital and operational costs. We need a desalination technology that consumes much lower energy and has a lower environmental impact. In this study, a novel approach, known as forward osmosis is presented which uses concentration difference between a concentrated draw solution and saline water across a semipermeable membrane to extract water without using energy. The forward osmosis process has attracted growing interest in different applications such as wastewater purification, agricultural/food industries, and seawater desalination. In order to make this technology more applicable, significant contributions towards understanding module-scale forward osmosis operation including identifying the limitations and options. The research included both fundamental studies and laboratory, pilot and field investigation to demonstrate technological, environmental and economic assessment and thus identify a huge guarantee of implementing a full-scale forward osmosis process and thus its commercialization.
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