Application of Forward Osmosis Membrane in a Sequential Batch Reactor for Water Reuse

  • Qingyu Li

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Forward osmosis (FO) is a novel membrane process that potentially can be used as an energy-saving alternative to conventional membrane processes. The objective of this study is to investigate the performance of a FO membrane to draw water from wastewater using seawater as draw solution. A study on a novel osmotic sequential batch reactor (OsSBR) was explored. In this system, a plate and frame FO cell including two flat-sheet FO membranes was submerged in a bioreactor treating the wastewater. We found it feasible to treat the wastewater by the OsSBR process. The DOC removal rate was 98.55%. Total nitrogen removal was 62.4% with nitrate, nitrite and ammonium removals of 58.4%, 96.2% and 88.4% respectively. Phosphate removal was almost 100%. In this OsSBR system, the 15-hour average flux for a virgin membrane with air scouring is 3.103 LMH. After operation of 3 months, the average flux of a fouled membrane is 2.390 LMH with air scouring (23% flux decline). Air scouring can help to remove the loose foulants on the active layer, thus helping to maintain the flux. Cleaning of the FO membrane fouled in the active layer was probably not effective under the conditions of immersing the membrane in the bioreactor. LC-OCD results show that the FO membrane has a very good performance in rejecting biopolymers, humics and building blocks, but a limited ability in rejecting low molecular weight neutrals.
Date of AwardJul 2011
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorGary Amy (Supervisor)

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