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Forward Osmosis

Membracon > Industry Sectors > Forward Osmosis

Forward Osmosis (FO) is one of the known procedures for all types of water treatment, due to its benefits Forward Osmosis is used within many industries for the reuse and recovery of water. Here we will explore this process in more depth.

What is Forward Osmosis?

Forward Osmosis (FO) is a natural membrane process found in nature capable of extracting pure water from impure sources. Unlike Reverse Osmosis (RO), which uses hydraulic pressure to drive water across a semi-permeable membrane, FO uses a “draw” solution to draw water across it. FO spontaneously draws water across a membrane whenever one solution is higher in salt concentration or solute (draw solution) than another (feed solution). The difference in salt concentration between solutions is known as the osmotic gradient (Δπ) and is the free and natural energy responsible in powering the water extraction process.

How does Forward Osmosis work?

As water is drawn from the feed solution into the draw solution across the semi-permeable membrane, two things occur; the feed becomes concentrated, and the draw solution becomes diluted. The result of this is a reduction in the osmotic gradient between solutions and in turn a reduction in the flow rate across the semi-permeable membrane known as flux rate. For forward osmosis to operate continuously, water drawn across the membrane into the draw solution must be removed continuously so that a maximum draw concentration can be maintained and a maximum concentration gradient achieved.

Forward Osmosis technology in the industry

With this innovative technology new applications are being discovered to utilise FO technology within various industries. The FO technology can be used for the following:

APPLICATION 1: Dairy, fertilizer, manufacturing, food and beverage industries.

Do you have more questions on this technology?

Membracon UK are market leaders in technology for water treatment. With over 80 years of combined experience within the Agricultural, chemical and process industry our technical team takes pride in providing sustainable circular solutions for companies to maximise resource value for higher profitability.

Contact us today if you have any further questions regarding this technology or if you would like a free consultation.