Assessment of polyelectrolyte draw agents in forward osmosis desalination
Li, D., Simon, G.P. and Wang, H. (2011) Assessment of polyelectrolyte draw agents in forward osmosis desalination. In: Chemeca 2011 Conference, 18 - 21 September, Sydney, Australia
Desalination of brackish water or seawater is gaining popularity as a solution to the water crisis, which is aggravated by the world’s growing population and industry. Forward osmosis (FO) process has become a growing area of research, because of its great potential for low energy consumption and simple configuration or equipment. In the FO process, a draw solute with higher osmotic pressure (compared to that of saline water) flows through one side of the semipermeable membrane, and saline water is fed at the other side. Due to naturally-driven osmotic flow, water permeates through the semi-permeable membrane from the saline water to the draw solute side. It is then necessary to separate the water product from the draw solute and regenerate the draw solute. Therefore, draw agents are required to have a high osmotic pressure, and be able to release the water at a modest energy cost. A number of draw agents have been studied in the literature, including CO2 and ammonia, sugar, and ethanol. Here we report our study on the feasibility of applying novel draw agents, such as polyelectrolyte solutions, in the FO process; and the extraction of water from such novel agents.
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