Jeng Yih Law, Abdul Wahab Mohammad


Osmotically-driven forward osmosis (FO) has gained significant attention in the last decade due to its potential application in various disciplines. Draw solution serves as the driving force in FO process for inducing water transport across the membrane. FO technology can be used to reject or concentrate high valuable products in the chemical and bioprocess industries which often encounter great challenge in terms of dilute product formation. In this study, commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) flat sheet FO membrane was investigated using several types of inorganic draw solute. Pure water fluxes ranged from 5.20 to 6.30    L.m-2.h-1 were achieved for selected draw solutes. The reverse solute leakage was shown by the increment of conductivity in the feed solution. Among the draw solutes, NaCl demonstrated highest reverse solute leakage (72.45 µS cm-1) attributed to its relatively smaller molecular size. The water fluxes at feed to draw solution volume ratios of 1:2 and 1:3 were found to be slightly lower than that to the volume ratios of 1:0.6 and 1:1. With respect to sodium succinate feed solution, MgCl2 was capable of generating higher osmotic pressure and thus higher water flux was observed compared to NaCl draw solute. Overall, the selected inorganic draw solutes demonstrated encouraging FO performances and could be used for concentrating sodium succinate solution.  


Forward osmosis, CTA membrane, draw solute, solution volume ratio, conductivity

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