287970 Seawater Desalination by Integrated Forward and Reverse Osmosis: Improved Product Water Quality for Potentially Less Energy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 3:45 PM
402 (Convention Center )
Devin Shaffer1, Ngai Yin Yip1, Jack Gilron2 and Menachem Elimelech3, (1)Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, (2)Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel, (3)Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Seawater desalination for agricultural irrigation will be an important contributor to satisfying growing water demands in water scarce regions.  Irrigated agriculture for food production drives global water demands, which are expected to increase while available supplies are further diminished.  Implementation of reverse osmosis, the current leading technology for seawater desalination, has been limited in part because of high costs and energy consumption. Because of stringent boron and chloride standards for agricultural irrigation water, desalination for agriculture is more energy intensive than desalination for potable use, and additional post-treatment, such as a second pass reverse osmosis process, is required.  In this perspective, we introduce the concept of an integrated forward osmosis and reverse osmosis process for seawater desalination.  Process modeling results indicate that the integrated process can achieve boron and chloride water quality requirements for agricultural irrigation while consuming less energy than a conventional two-pass reverse osmosis process. In addition, an initial scoping out of the economics, shows that employing an FO-RO hybrid may lead to reduced overall costs relative to the two pass option presently employed.

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See more of this Session: Hybrid Membrane Processing
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division