Application of pressure assisted forward osmosis for water purification and reuse of reverse osmosis concentrate from a water reclamation plant

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Journal Article
Separation and Purification Technology, 2016, 171 pp. 182 - 190
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. The use of forward osmosis (FO) is growing among the researchers for water desalination and wastewater treatment due to use of natural osmotic pressure of draw solute. In this study pressure assisted forward osmosis (PAFO) was used instead of FO to increase the water production rate. In this study a low concentration of draw solution (0.25 M KCl) was applied so that diluted KCl after PAFO operation can directly be used for fertigation. The performance of PAFO was investigated for the treatment of reverse osmosis concentrate (ROC) from a water reclamation plant. The water production in PAFO was increased by 9% and 29% at applied pressure of 2 and 4 bars, respectively, to feed side based on 90 h of experiments. Granular activated carbon (GAC) pretreatment and HCl softening were used to reduce organic fouling and scaling prior to application of PAFO. It reduced total organic carbon (TOC) and total inorganic carbon (TIC) by around 90% and 85%, respectively from untreated ROC. Subsequently, this led to an increase in permeate flux. In addition, GAC pretreatment adsorbed 12 out of 14 organic micropollutants tested from ROC to below detection limit. This application enabled to minimise the ROC volume with a sustainable operation and produced high quality and safe water for discharge or reuse. The draw solution (0.25 M KCl) used in this study was diluted to 0.14 M KCl, which is a suitable concentration (10 kg/m3) for fertigation, due to water transport from feed solution.
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