Polyelectrolyte-promoted Forward Osmosis-Membrane Distillation (FO-MD) hybrid process for dye wastewater treatment

Qingchun Ge, Peng Wang, Chunfeng Wan, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Polyelectrolytes have proven their advantages as draw solutes in forward osmosis process in terms of high water flux, minimum reverse flux, and ease of recovery. In this work, the concept of a polyelectrolyte-promoted forward osmosis-membrane distillation (FO-MD) hybrid system was demonstrated and applied to recycle the wastewater containing an acid dye. A poly(acrylic acid) sodium (PAA-Na) salt was used as the draw solute of the FO to dehydrate the wastewater, while the MD was employed to reconcentrate the PAA-Na draw solution. With the integration of these two processes, a continuous wastewater treatment process was established. To optimize the FO-MD hybrid process, the effects of PAA-Na concentration, experimental duration, and temperature were investigated. Almost a complete rejection of PAA-Na solute was observed by both FO and MD membranes. Under the conditions of 0.48 g mL-1 PAA-Na and 66 °C, the wastewater was most efficiently dehydrated yet with a stabilized PAA-Na concentration around 0.48 g mL-1. The practicality of PAA-Na-promoted FO-MD hybrid technology demonstrates not only its suitability in wastewater reclamation, but also its potential in other membrane-based separations, such as protein or pharmaceutical product enrichment. This study may provide the insights of exploring novel draw solutes and their applications in FO related processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6236-6243
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 5 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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