Mass Transfer Study in Brine Water Treatment by Forward Osmosis Process

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of Chemical Technologies, Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Iran

Abstract

The forward osmosis (FO) is an energy-saving separation process that can be used in desalination applications. This work investigated the effect of mass transfer phenomenon on the FO desalination process. For this purpose, at first, the water flux was studied through a bench scale system using a flat sheet FO membrane and the feeds with various salinity. Then, the mass transfer resistances, which appear in the form of concentration polarization (CP) for FO process, were evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively, using the collected experimental data and by employing a mathematical model. The results indicate that feed salinity leads to a decrease in water flux due to counteracted part of the draw solution osmotic pressure, thus leading to a lower effective osmotic pressure and driving force. Also according to the results, there is a significant difference between the theoretical and experimental fluxes, indicating the influence of mass transfer effects on osmotic pressure drop. The modeling results showed the internal concentration polarization ICP still hold more share in the osmotic pressure loss. Furthermore, it was observed as the feed solution concentration increased, both the ICP and dilutive external concentration polarization (dilutive ECP) decreased whereas the concentrative ECP intensified. Therefore, increasing concentrative ECP leads to a significant reduction in effective osmotic pressure. In addition, increasing draw solution concentration is accompanied by a much more severe ICP that limits the enhancement of effective flux.

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Main Subjects


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