Abstract: In forward osmosis (FO), an osmotic pressure gradient generated across a semi-permeable membrane is used to generate water transport from a dilute feed solution into a concentrated draw solution. This principle has shown great promise in the areas of water purification, wastewater treatment, seawater desalination and power generation. To ease optimization and increase understanding of membrane systems, it is desirable to have a comprehensive model that allows for easy investigation of all the major parameters in the separation process. Here we present experimental validation of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model developed to simulate FO experiments with asymmetric membranes. Simulations are compared with experimental results obtained from using two distinctly different complex three-dimensional membrane chambers. It is found that the CFD model accurately describes the solute separation process and water permeation through membranes under various flow conditions. It is furthermore demonstrated how the CFD model can be used to optimize membrane geometry in such as way as to promote the mass transfer.
Keywords: forward osmosis; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); internal concentration polarization; external concentration polarization; model validation; three-dimensional simulations
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Gruber, M.F.; Johnson, C.J.; Tang, C.; Jensen, M.H.; Yde, L.; Hélix-Nielsen, C. Validation and Analysis of Forward Osmosis CFD Model in Complex 3D Geometries. Membranes 2012, 2, 764-782.
Gruber MF, Johnson CJ, Tang C, Jensen MH, Yde L, Hélix-Nielsen C. Validation and Analysis of Forward Osmosis CFD Model in Complex 3D Geometries. Membranes. 2012; 2(4):764-782.
Gruber, Mathias F.; Johnson, Carl J.; Tang, Chuyang; Jensen, Mogens H.; Yde, Lars; Hélix-Nielsen, Claus. 2012. "Validation and Analysis of Forward Osmosis CFD Model in Complex 3D Geometries." Membranes 2, no. 4: 764-782.