Novel forward osmosis process to effectively remove heavy metal ions

Yue Cui, Qingchun Ge, Xiangyang Liu, Neal Tai-Shung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, a novel forward osmosis (FO) process for the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater was demonstrated for the first time. The proposed FO process consists of a thin-film composite (TFC) FO membrane made from interfacial polymerization on a macrovoid-free polyimide support and a novel bulky hydroacid complex Na4[Co(C6H4O7)2]·r2H2O (Na-Co-CA) as the draw solute to minimize the reverse solute flux. The removal of six heavy metal solutions, i.e., Na2Cr2O7, Na2HAsO4, Pb(NO3)2, CdCl2, CuSO4, Hg(NO3)2, were successfully demonstrated. Water fluxes around 11L/m2/h (LMH) were harvested with heavy metals rejections of more than 99.5% when employing 1M Na-Co-CA as the draw solution to process 2000ppm(1 ppm=1 mg/L) heavy metal solutions at room temperature. This FO performance outperforms most nanofiltration (NF) processes. In addition, the high rejections were maintained at 99.5% when a more concentrated draw solution (1.5M) or feed solution (5000ppm) was utilized. Furthermore, rejections greater than 99.7% were still achieved with an enhanced water flux of 16.5LMH by operating the FO process at 60°C. The impressive heavy metal rejections and satisfactory water flux under various conditions suggest great potential of the newly developed FO system for the treatment of heavy metal wastewater. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Volume467
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research is supported by the National Research Foundation-Prime Minister's office, Republic of Singapore under its Competitive Research Program entitled "Advanced FO Membranes and Membrane Systems for Wastewater Treatment, Water Reuse and Seawater Desalination" (Grant numbers R-279-000-336-281 and R-278-000-339-281). Thanks are also due to Dr. Zhengzhong Zhou, Dr. Sui Zhang, Mr. Gang Han and Miss Xiuzhu Fu for their suggestions and help on this work.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Filtration and Separation
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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