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The Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactor for Domestic Wastewater Treatment

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A novel submerged osmotic membrane bioreactor (OsMBR) is presented. The system utilizes a submerged forward osmosis (FO) membrane module inside a bioreactor. Through osmosis, water is transported from the bioreactor, across a semi-permeable membrane, and into a draw solution (DS). To produce potable water, the diluted DS is sent to a reconcentration unit, consisting of a reverse osmosis (RO) unit or a distillation process. Preliminary experiments with a flat-sheet cellulose triacetate FO membrane showed high sustainable flux and relatively low reverse salt transport. Membrane fouling was successfully controlled with osmotic backwash cycles. The FO membrane was found to reject 98% of organic carbon and 90% of NH4 +-N; the overall OsMBR system (FO followed by RO) was found to remove 99.8% of organic carbon, and 99.4% of NH4 +-N.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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