Design and Optimization of a Full Scale Forward Osmosis System

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Forward osmosis (FO) process is a promising water filtration technology due to its low energy consumption and less fouling propensity. Performance of a full scale FO system is however significantly influenced by its operating conditions. Moreover, these operating parameters have both favorable and adverse effects on their performance. Therefore, it is very important to optimize its performance for efficient and economic operations. Although numerous studies optimized the lab scale FO system, theoretical optimization of the full scale FO system using commercially available membrane modules was rarely performed. Therefore, this thesis aims to design and optimize a full-scale FO system using different types of commercial membrane modules. [...] This thesis finally concludes with the recommendation to improve the accuracy and extend the scope of the FO system analysis software. Development of empirical models for pressure drop across the membrane module and the effects of fouling on the module performance can help to enhance the accuracy of the current FO system design and optimization studies. Further, the addition of more draw solutions, feed solutions, and membrane modules to the software can enable it to search for numerous potential applications of the FO process. Other osmotically driven processes (such as Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO), pressure assisted osmosis (PAO)) can also be included in the software to widen its scope. Finally, launching this software as a web application to make it available for diverse groups of industrial and academic users will significantly contribute to commercializing the FO process for various applications.
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