Desalination, Vol.463, 40-49, 2019
An optimization strategy for a forward osmosis-reverse osmosis hybrid process for wastewater reuse and seawater desalination: A modeling study
The reduction of energy consumption in the reverse osmosis (RO) process is critical. The forward osmosis (FO)-RO hybrid process can be suggested to reduce RO energy consumption. In this study, a numerical FO-RO process model was developed to analyze the FO-RO hybrid process. The performance of the FO-RO hybrid process was compared with the stand-alone RO process. In addition, the impacts of the control parameters for operation, and the intrinsic membrane parameters, were analyzed using sensitivity analysis. In conclusion, the FO-RO hybrid process involves less RO energy consumption than the stand-alone RO process. The FO draw flow velocity and the RO applied pressure were derived as the major factors for controlling the FO-RO process. In addition, the control parameters for operation were found to be more important than the intrinsic membrane parameters in the minimization of RO energy consumption. Subsequently, the FO elements installed in front of the RO process should be configured with a parallel connection, in order to minimize RO energy consumption. The results in this study could be used to develop guidelines for the optimal design of the FO-RO hybrid process.