Maximize the operating profit of a SWRO-PRO integrated process for optimal water production and energy recovery

Chun Feng Wan, Neal Tai-Shung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a promising technology to reduce the specific energy consumption and the operating expenditure of a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant. In this study, a simple analytical PRO model is developed to predict the PRO performance as the dilution of draw solutions occurs. The model can predict the PRO performance with a high accuracy without carrying out complicated integrations and experiments. The operating profit of SWRO-PRO is also studied by calculating the profit generated for every m3 of seawater entering the process because maximizing the operating profit is the uttermost objective of the SWRO-PRO process. Based on the PRO analytical model, the operating profit and the dynamics of the SWRO-PRO process, a strategy has been proposed to maximize the operating profit of the SWRO-PRO process while maintaining the highest power density of the PRO membranes. This study proves that integration of SWRO with PRO can (1) push the SWRO to a higher recovery and maintain its high profitability, (2) effectively reduce the specific energy consumption of desalination by up to 35% and (3) increase the operating profit up to 100%. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-313
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - Mar 28 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research is supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation, Prime Minister's Office, Singapore, under its Environmental & Water Technologies Strategic Research Programme, administered by the Environment & Water Industry Programme Office (EWI) of the PUB under the project titled "Membrane Development for Osmotic Power Generation, Part 2. Module Fabrication and System Integration" (1102-IRIS-11-01) and NUS grant no. R-279-000-382-279. The special thanks are due to due to Dr. Gang Han, Dr. Sui Zhang, Dr. Xue Li, Dr. Junying Xiong and Mr. Zhenlei Cheng for their kind help.


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