Costing for Forward Osmosis membranes

We recently received an inquiry from Young Woo Kim from the University of Waterloo. Young Kim is working on an economic comparison between , on one side, Capacitive Deionization (CDI) coupled to PRO and, on the other side, Reverse Osmosis (RO).

To do so, he is need of industrial Forward Osmosis membrane prices.

Have a look through Young Kim’s inquiry below and feel free to share any input you may have.

Dear sir or madam,

My name is Young Woo Kim and I am a fourth-year chemical engineering student at the University of Waterloo. As part of my program’s final design project, my group members and I decided to do a feasibility study on using Capacitive Deionization (CDI) coupled with Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) as an alternative to Reverse Osmosis. While I was working on the economic comparison of two techniques, the problem arose as the cost and specification of the forward osmosis membrane which would be used in PRO process was not openly accessible as RO membranes. I understand that the cost of the membrane would differ depending on the water parameters but would it be possible for you to share the average cost of Forward Osmosis membrane per either 8 in. element or active area? It would be a wonderful addition to our project. Thank you for your help.



  1. Hi Young Kim,

    As a rough estimate, I think you can use $100 USD per square meter as the costing for industrial FO membrane modules.

    Look forward to getting input on this from industrial players.



  2. Hi Young Kim,
    Mark is correct. 100 USD/m^2 is a fair estimate. Although Aquaporin does not have flat sheets and thus no spiral wound modules our current selling price for a 14 m^2 hollow fiber module is 1,524 USD (so 108 USD/m^2). That is the list price and we are still only manufacturing small amounts so the price is very likely to decrease in the future.
    Once you have your results it would be very interesting to know at what membrane price the CDI/PRO combination would be a viable option.
    Looking forward to the results


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