A review of fouling mechanisms, control strategies and real-time fouling monitoring techniques in forward osmosis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Water (Switzerland), 2019, 11 (4)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 by the authors. Forward osmosis has gained tremendous attention in the field of desalination and wastewater treatment. However, membrane fouling is an inevitable issue. Membrane fouling leads to flux decline, can cause operational problems and can result in negative consequences that can damage the membrane. Hereby, we attempt to review the different types of fouling in forward osmosis, cleaning and control strategies for fouling mitigation, and the impact of membrane hydrophilicity, charge and morphology on fouling. The fundamentals of biofouling, organic, colloidal and inorganic fouling are discussed with a focus on recent studies. We also review some of the in-situ real-time online fouling monitoring technologies for real-time fouling monitoring that can be applicable to future research on forward osmosis fouling studies. A brief discussion on critical flux and the coupled effects of fouling and concentration polarization is also provided.
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