Forward osmosis (FO) offers the opportunity to engineer new applications based on the ubiquitous osmotic process utilized by every living organism. FO applications include small-scale individual water purification units (Instant Water), large-scale water desalination systems (Forward Osmosis Water Purification Units (FOWPUs)), and production of electric power using seawater and excess freshwater (Osmotic Power). Unpressurized FO can desalinate brackish water and seawater using less energy and at potentially lower costs than reverse osmosis (RO). The successful development of FO relies on the development of new ultra-thin semi permeable membranes and membrane substrates specifically-designed for FO operation. FO requires ultrathin membranes in order to minimize concentration polarization on both sides of its salt-rejecting water-purification membrane. The paper describes the FO process, presents FO applications, and describes goals and progress in developing FO membranes.
This presentation is available to AMTA Members only.
- Charles Moody, Ph.D., P.E.
- US Bureau of Reclamation
- AMTA Biennial Conference, Las Vegas, NV
- Biennial Conference
- U.S. Army and the Office of Naval Research, Forward osmosis (FO), Unpressurized FO, Desalination by Forward Osmosis, concentration polarization, Bureau of Reclamation