0.26MGD FO-SWRO Hybrid for seawater desalination achieves 25% energy reduction compared to MF/SWRO

Wastwater treatment using forward osmosis
Mark Perry
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The Korean Forward and Reverse Osmosis Hybrid Desalination Research Center (FOHC) and Hyorim Industries launch the world’s largest forward and reverse osmosis hybrid facility.

The plant utilizes a forward osmosis purification process to dilute seawater from 34,000 mg/L to between 10,000 and 13,000 mg/L – thus enabling SWRO-based desalination at a significantly lower operating pressure. The end result is a hybrid forward osmosis system for desalination of seawater and wastewater treatment operating at 25% less energy compared to traditional MF/SWRO.

The FO feed water source consists of 2000 cubic meters per day MF pretreated secondary effluent and the double membrane barrier (FO & SWRO) ensures high quality drinking water.

According to a press release by Porifera, the company’s forward osmosis membranes membranes were evaluated in a 100 m3/d hybrid pilot system against a wide range of other forward osmosis technologies. Ultimately, Porifera’s customizable modules were chosen based on the demonstration plant’s target recovery and energy reduction goals.

Increasing track record of forward osmosis technologies in in real-life industrial applications

Over the last 5 years, one of the main barriers to commercial FO adoption has been a limited track record in real-life industrial applications. Now, as an increasing number of forward osmosis plants are demonstrating commercial viability, wide-spread FO commercialization appears to be imminent.

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