Assisted forward osmosis for energy savings in RO desalination

Within this project, the concept of assisted forward osmosis (AFO) will be applied as a pre-treatment step for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination, resulting in significant dilution of the sea/brackish waters and optimisation of the use of renewable energy. In AFO, a slight pressure is applied to the feed side, resulting in greater dilution of the RO feed, and thus significant reduction in the energy cost for RO operation. In this project, anti-fouling strategies will be investigated to decrease AFO operational costs, detailed modelling will be performed to optimise the process, and novel membranes will be studied for this specific osmotic application.

Research Team:   Pierre Le-Clech
                               Gaetan Blandin

Collaborators:      Amy Childress (University of Nevada)

                               Chuyang Tang (Nanyang Technological University)

Funding Body:     National Centre of Excellence for Desalination, Australia


  1. Blandin G; Verliefde ARD; Tang CY; Le-Clech P, 2014, 'Opportunities to reach economic sustainability in forward osmosis-reverse osmosis hybrids for seawater desalination', Desalination,
  2. Blandin G; Verliefde ARD; Tang CY; Childress AE; Le-Clech P, 2013, 'Validation of assisted forward osmosis (AFO) process: Impact of hydraulic pressure', Journal of Membrane Science, vol. 447, pp. 1 - 11, 

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