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Membranes 2019, 9(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes9030043

Metastable State of Water and Performance of Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes

1
School of Chemical Engineering, Northeast Electric Power University, Jilin 132012, China
2
School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China
3
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, Texas Tech University, 911 Boston Ave, Lubbock, TX 79409-1023, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract

Semipermeable membranes play critical roles in many natural and engineering systems. The osmotic pressure is found experimentally much less effective than the hydraulic pressure to drive water through the membrane, which is commonly attributed to the internal concentration polarization (ICP) in the porous layer of the membrane. In this study, it has been shown that a necessary condition for the osmotic pressure to be effective is water continuity across the entire membrane thickness under negative pressure, i.e., the water inside the membrane remains in a metastable state. However, the metastable state of water cannot be maintained indefinitely, and cavitation will undoubtedly occur in the osmotically driven processes. Collapse of the water metastable state was suggested for the first time to be a more important and fundamental reason for the low water fluxes in the osmotically driven membrane processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: osmotically driven membrane processes; water flux; metastable state; cavitation; water continuity osmotically driven membrane processes; water flux; metastable state; cavitation; water continuity
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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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Zhang, H.; Wang, J.; Rainwater, K.; Song, L. Metastable State of Water and Performance of Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes. Membranes 2019, 9, 43.

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