Dilution of seawater using dewatered construction water in a hybrid forward osmosis system
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In this study, dewatered construction water was used for the first time as the feed solution in a combined pretreatment-forward osmosis process to dilute seawater (i.e. draw solution) for further desalination. It was found that at a feed solution and a draw solution flow rate of 2.2 L min?1 gave the optimum membrane flux with minimal fouling effects. The addition of a spacer in the membrane feed side was effective at low flow rates (0.8 and 1.5 L min?1). The feed solution was then pretreated using two methods: settling and multimedia filtration and used in the forward osmosis unit at a low flow rate of 0.8 L min?1 using a spacer at the feed side. Results revealed a significant increase in the forward osmosis membrane flux by 64.3% when multimedia filtration was carried out with a flux reduction of 7.7%. While the settling method achieved only 13.5% increase in the permeate flux and 12.5% flux reduction. The multimedia filtration process removed most of the particles that would cause fouling which resulted in an elevated and more consistent membrane flux. Results also showed that the water flux was 1.3 times higher when the membrane's active layer was facing the draw solution than when it was facing the feed solution. Cost analysis showed that forward osmosis treatment of dewatered construction water was 7.88 $.day?1 and it was slightly cheaper when the forward osmosis operates in the pressure retarded osmosis mode.