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Membranes 2016, 6(1), 3; doi:10.3390/membranes6010003

Economic Evaluation of a Hybrid Desalination System Combining Forward and Reverse Osmosis

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Kookmin University, Jeongneung-Dong, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 136-702, Republic of Korea
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Academic Editor: Adel Sharif
Received: 9 October 2015 / Revised: 22 December 2015 / Accepted: 25 December 2015 / Published: 29 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forward Osmosis/Pressure Retarded Osmosis)
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Abstract

This study seeks to evaluate the performance and economic feasibility of the forward osmosis (FO)–reverse osmosis (RO) hybrid process; to propose a guideline by which this hybrid process might be more price-competitive in the field. A solution-diffusion model modified with film theory was applied to analyze the effects of concentration polarization, water, and salt transport coefficient on flux, recovery, seawater concentration, and treated wastewater of the FO process of an FO-RO hybrid system. A simple cost model was applied to analyze the effects of flux; recovery of the FO process; energy; and membrane cost on the FO-RO hybrid process. The simulation results showed that the water transport coefficient and internal concentration polarization resistance are very important factors that affect performance in the FO process; however; the effect of the salt transport coefficient does not seem to be large. It was also found that the flux and recovery of the FO process, the FO membrane, and the electricity cost are very important factors that influence the water cost of an FO-RO hybrid system. This hybrid system can be price-competitive with RO systems when its recovery rate is very high, the flux and the membrane cost of the FO are similar to those of the RO, and the electricity cost is expensive. The most important thing in commercializing the FO process is enhancing performance (e.g.; flux and the recovery of FO membranes). View Full-Text
Keywords: FO-RO hybrid; FO; cost; modeling FO-RO hybrid; FO; cost; modeling
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, Y.; Cho, H.; Shin, Y.; Jang, Y.; Lee, S. Economic Evaluation of a Hybrid Desalination System Combining Forward and Reverse Osmosis. Membranes 2016, 6, 3.

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