Evaluation of fertilizer-drawn forward osmosis for sustainable agriculture and water reuse in arid regions

Laura Chekli, Youngjin Kim, Sherub Phuntsho, Sheng Li, NorEddine Ghaffour, TorOve Leiknes, Ho Kyong Shon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The present study focused on the performance of the FDFO process to achieve simultaneous water reuse from wastewater and production of nutrient solution for hydroponic application. Bio-methane potential (BMP) measurements were firstly carried out to determine the effect of osmotic concentration of wastewater achieved in the FDFO process on the anaerobic activity. Results showed that 95% water recovery from the FDFO process is the optimum value for further AnMBR treatment. Nine different fertilizers were then tested based on their FO performance (i.e. water flux, water recovery and reverse salt flux) and final nutrient concentration. From this initial screening, ammonium phosphate monobasic (MAP), ammonium sulfate (SOA) and mono-potassium phosphate were selected for long term experiments to investigate the maximum water recovery achievable. After the experiments, hydraulic membrane cleaning was performed to assess the water flux recovery. SOA showed the highest water recovery rate, up to 76% while KH2PO4 showed the highest water flux recovery, up to 75% and finally MAP showed the lowest final nutrient concentration. However, substantial dilution was still necessary to comply with the standards for fertigation even if the recovery rate was increased.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Nov 25 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The research reported in this paper was supported by a SEED Fund from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.


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