Special Issue "Forward Osmosis: Modelling and Applications"

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Applications in Water Treatment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. José Antonio Mendoza-Roca

School of Industrial Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forward osmosis; membrane bioreactors; ultrafiltration; industrial wastewaters recycling
Guest Editor
Dr. María Cinta Vincent-Vela

School of Industrial Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera, s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain
Website | E-Mail
Interests: forward osmosis; membrane bioreactors; ultrafiltration; industrial wastewaters recycling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forward osmosis (FO) is one of the membrane technologies that has drawn increasing interest in the last years. The development of new membranes has created great expectations regarding the potential uses of this technology. The main advantages of this technique in comparison with other membrane processes are the low energy cost, since the driving force for the separation is the osmotic pressure difference between the membrane sides, and the low membrane fouling. However, the low permeate fluxes yielded by the FO membranes and the reverse salt flux phenomena jeopardize industrial scale applications of FO membranes.

For this Special Issue, papers on FO process modelling and research into potential applications including osmotic membrane bioreactors are welcome. The aim is to publish research works that contribute to progressing the knowledge of FO membranes, processes and new applications or including the use of new draw solutions, new membranes or novel processes for the regeneration of draw solutions.

Prof. José Antonio Mendoza-Roca
Dr. María Cinta Vincent-Vela
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • forward osmosis
  • osmotic membrane reactors
  • draw solution
  • salt reverse flux
  • membrane fouling
  • draw solution regeneration
  • membrane fouling in forward osmosis
  • cleaning of forward osmosis membranes

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of paper: Article
Title: Exploring forward osmosis for pre-concentration of wastewater before anaerobic digestion: A pilot scale study
Author: Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda Layret and Gaetan Blandin

Type of paper: Article
Title: Feasibility analysis and evaluation of a forward osmosis – nanofiltration system for the reuse of wastewater
Authors: M. Giagnorio, F. Ricceri, A. Tiraferri
Affiliation: Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Turin, Italy
Abstract: A forward osmosis-based system to produce high-quality water from secondary wastewater effluent is evaluated. Forward osmosis is coupled with medium-pressure nanofiltration to recover the draw solution and to produce a permeate stream that meets the standards of drinking water or of use in unrestricted irrigation. The coupling of forward osmosis and nanofiltration is optimized based on preliminary bench-scale experiments and by analyzing different process scenarios. In particular, the feasibility of the system in terms of fluxes and required membrane areas is evaluated for a range of process parameters, varying (i) the initial value of osmotic pressure of the draw solution influent to the FO step and (ii) the overall system recovery. The two membrane-based treatments in series are thus designed, with an estimation of the energy requirements together with the installation and operational costs. The best technological configuration is thus identified. Finally, an in-depth investigation of fouling and cleaning procedures is discussed.

Type of paper: Article
Title:Performance and optimization of the operating conditions for hollow fiber forward osmosis modules doped with aquaporin-based nanostructures
Authors:Victoria Sanhuja-Embuena1,2, Mads Friis Andersen2, Gabriel Khensir1, Muhamed Yusuf1, , Manuel Pinelo1, Krzysztof Trzaskus2, Claus Hélix-Nielsen1
1 DTU, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Søltofts Plads 229- Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
2 Aquaporin A/S, Nymøllevej 78, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Abstract: Forward osmosis (FO) membranes have shown great promise for many applications such as desalination, wastewater treatment and concentration of valuable streams. Increasing interest and maturation of this emerging technology is manifested by the commercial presence of FO membrane modules in all shape factors such as plate and frame, spiral wound and hollow fibers. In this study, performance of two types of Aquaporin InsideTM hollow fiber forward osmosis (HFFO) membrane modules have been investigated. The operating conditions of the membranes were altered in order to understand the governing mechanism responsible for performance of the membranes. Specifially, we investigated the effect on module performance (water flux and reverse solute flux) for different draw solutions (NaCl, MgCl2 and MgSO4), membrane configurations, operating temperatures, transmembrane pressure, draw and feed solution flow rates. All tests were performed using three different feed solutions: deionized water, urea solution (200 ppm) and brine (3.5% NaCl). The results revealed that the final performances of the HFFO2 modules are strongly related to the operating conditions applied, character of the feed solutions and intrinsic properties of the membrane. The process parameter can be easly used to adjust performance of the HFFO modules during the operation. This work might serve as a general guide for work with HFFO membrane modules thus paving the way for implementation of FO in technological applications. 

Type of paper: Article
Title: Application of modelling approaches for automobile waste water treatment by forward osmosis
Authors: Anita Haupt, Christian Marx, André Lerch
Affiliation: Chair of Process Engineering in Hydro Systems, Institute of Urban and Industrial Water Management, Technische Universität Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany

Abstract: Forward osmosis (FO) has rarely been investigated as a treatment technology for industrial wastewaters. Within this study, common FO model equations were applied to simulate forward osmosis treating industrial wastewaters from the automobile industry. Three different model approaches from literature were used and compared. Permeate and reverse solute flux modelling was implemented using Microsoft Excel with GRG Nonlinear Solver. For the industrial effluents, the unknown diffusion coefficients were calibrated and the influence of the membrane parameters was investigated. Experimental data was used to evaluate to model. It could be proven that common model equations can describe FO treatment of industrial effluents from automobile industry. Even with few known solution properties it was possible to calculate matching permeate fluxes. However, when modelling forward osmosis using industrial wastewaters, the membrane parameters, which are apparently not solution independent and seem to differ for each industrial effluent, are critical values.

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