Computing the effective diffusion coefficient of solutes in a multi-salts solutions during forward osmosis (FO) membrane filtration: Experiments and mathematical modelling

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Management, 2018, 214 pp. 215 - 223
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Diffusion coefficient of solutes through a porous membrane media is different from diffusion coefficient through a free homogenous media. Porosity, tortuosity and the thickness of the membrane significantly affect the diffusion through a specific thickness of a membrane and therefore it is termed as effective diffusion coefficient (Deff) which is lower than the actual diffusion coefficient, D. The Deff of single or dual solutes through a porous membrane layer are well documented but not for multiple salts. Therefore, in this study, single, dual and multiple salt mixtures were passed through a flat sheet cellulose triacetate Forward Osmosis (FO) membrane to obtain a semi-empirical relationship with the Deff and its water flux. This will allow computing the structural coefficient of FO membranes. Research community have spent tremendous efforts in membrane modification to reduce the structural coefficient to improve FO process efficiency. Our finding suggests that optimising the draw solution chemistry can achieve this goal.
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