Forward Osmosis


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Low-energy desalination trials delayed

Trials of four new energy efficient desalination systems from leading water technology players that could "revolutionise the industry" have been delayed from their summer 2015 start with October forecast as the date when all will be in pilot operation.

Masterclass webinar to look at combining reuse and desalination using forward osmosis

Award-winning researcher, Gaetan Bandin, will present the next Desalination and Water Reuse Masterclass Webinar on 30 June looking at opportunities and challenges for forward osmosis and pressure assisted osmosis (PAO) to combine water reuse and desalination.

China opens laboratory to drive forward osmosis development

A pairing of leading players in China's water and petrochemicals industries have launched a venture to develop forward osmosis in seawater desalination that they claim will: "open up a new way for zero liquid discharge (ZLD) in seawater desalination of seawater resources with low energy consumption."

Membrane market growth to run until 2020

The fruits of growing research and development in forward osmosis for desalination are highlighted in a recent sector report as drivers of growth in the market for membrane separation technologies running to at least 2020.

Study shows novel heavy-metals-from-wastewater method

Scientists in Singapore and Saudi Arabia have reported a novel method for extracting toxic and valuable heavy metals from wastewater using forward osmosis (FO).

Oasys forward osmosis concentrates in China

Massachusetts-based Oasys Water has claimed its recent contract to supply a forward osmosis brine concentrator to a fossil-fuelled power plant in China to be a world first.

US research challenges value of forward osmosis in seawater desalination

Researchers in the US have claimed that forward osmosis desalination of seawater is significantly less energy efficient than reverse osmosis

Masdar picks four firms to test new desalination techniques

Abu Dhabi clean energy company, Masdar, has selected four international water technology firms to test techniques that could reduce the energy intensity of desalination and lead to a large renewably powered water purification station.

Desalination quartet booked for Masdar pilot plants in UAE

Three major contractors in the global desalination business - Abengoa, Degrémont and Sidem/Veolia - together with forward-osmosis developer Trevi Systems, were awarded contracts on 5 May 2014 by Abu Dhabi's Masdar, to each start the construction of a 1,500 m³/d desalination plant as part of Masdar's pilot project announced in 2013.

Forward-osmosis companies launch international association

Four companies specializing in forward osmosis membrane technology launched the International Forward Osmosis Association (IFOA) on 7 April 2014.

Oasys announces sales hook-up with oil & gas servicer

Forward-osmosis specialist Oasys Water announced on 12 December 2013 that it had recently signed an exclusive sales agreement with National Oilwell Varco LP (NOV), a leading global provider of equipment and services used in the oil and gas market.

Modern Water set for first FO desalination plant in China

Modern Water is set to build a forward-osmosis (FO) desalination plant in Xugong Island, China, as a result of one of three deals signed by the UK company during a trade mission to China led by UK prime minister David Cameron.

Woongjin backs Californian FO membrane‑maker

Korean membrane company Woongjin Chemical Company has signed an agreement with California startup Porifera Inc providing investment for the Silicon Valley company to develop, manufacture and commercialize forward osmosis (FO) membranes at high volume.

Modern Water gets £ 9.5 million from share issue

UK forward-osmosis (FO) and monitoring specialist Modern Water plc announced on 12 February 2013 that it had raised, subject to certain conditions, £ 10.0 million (approximately £ 9.5 million net of expenses) by way of a placing of 20,000,000 new ordinary shares with both new and existing institutional shareholders at a price of £0.50 per ordinary share.

IDE to design PRO power-generation pilot in Norway

The Norwegian renewable-energy company Statkraft has made an agreement for IDE Technologies to design and later purchase and construct a 2 MW osmotic power-generation pilot plant in close cooperation with Statkraft.

Chinese website and new director for Modern Water

UK forward-osmosis specialist Modern Water plc has recently appointed William Harvey as its director of strategy and new business development for its Membrane Processes division as well as its electrocoagulation products.

Modern Water ties in with Chinese partner

UK forward-osmosis desalination developer Modern Water plc has signed a framework agreement with Hangzhou Development Center of Water Treatment Technology Company Ltd (Hangzhou Water) in China.

Moore takes over engineering for Modern Water

Brian Moore has left Thames Water to become Modern Water's new engineering manager as part of the UK membrane desalination company's planned growth in its engineering department.

Small FO desalination plant commissioned in Oman

A 200 m³/d forward-osmosis (FO) desalination plant has been commissioned by Modern Water at Al Najdah in the Al Wusta region of Oman.

IDA announces lecturers for next Academy session

The International Desalination Association (IDA) has announced the line-up for the next one-day course in its Desalination Academy, which will take place on 5 December 2012 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, alongside the Saudi Water & Power Forum.

Buenos Aires membrane papers deadline 15 June

A deadline of 15 June 2012 has been set for papers for the International Water Association (IWA) 3rd Regional Conference on Membrane Technology.

Oasys deal to treat Texas produced water with FO

Oasys Water has struck an agreement with Houston-based Select Energy Services, LLC (SES), a leading provider of engineered water solutions to the oil and gas industry, for exclusive use of its forward osmosis (FO) technology in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico, USA.

GE's Muscat takes over as Oasys Water CEO

Former GE executive Bob Muscat has been appointed chief executive officer of Oasys Water, the US forward-osmosis desalination specialist.

FO pilot plant could follow HTI Dubai link-up

Forward-osmosis (FO) system manufacturer Hydration Technology Innovations LLC (HTI) has signed an international distribution, services and cooperation agreement for FO technology with Future Technologies LLC of Dubai. Future Technologies will distribute HTI's FO OsMem™ membrane technology for industrial applications.

Modern Water claims first FO commercial desalination contract

UK-based Modern Water has won what is believed to be the first ever forward-osmosis (FO) commercial contract for desalination, following its award of a UK£ 500,000 (US$ 810,000) contract for a 200 m³/d plant by Oman's Public Authority for Electricity & Water (PAEW).

Tri-Tech planning forward-osmosis pilot plants

Chinese water and wastewater treatment company Tri-Tech Holdings announced on 13 May 2011 that its current plans include constructing and operating one or more forward-osmosis (FO) pilot units using technology licensed from Arizona-based Hydration Technology Innovations (HTI).

IDA announces scholarship program winners

Students from Brazil and Singapore are this year's winners of the Channabasappa Memorial Scholarship awarded by the International Desalination Association (IDA).

HTI deal takes forward osmosis to China

The world's only commercial manufacturer of forward-osmosis (FO) membranes, modules and systems, Hydration Technologies Innovations LLC (HTI), reached an international distribution, services and cooperation agreement for FO technology with Chinese company Tri-Tech Holding Inc.

Membrane 'summit' will precede AMTA conference

The 2nd Osmosis Membrane Summit will precede this year's annual conference of the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) in San Diego.

Modern Water claims Oman success

Modern Water plc announced on 12 November that its desalination plant in Oman has been successfully commissioned and fresh water production has commenced.

New tech to drive 9.5% annual desalination growth - report

By 2020, the annual supply of water from desalination will have reached 54 billion m³, according to a report released on 17 March 2009 by Lux Research.

The Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in New Mexico would become a state-of-the art desalination research facility.

US bill seeks major desalination research expansion

US Senate hearings began on 10 March 2009 into a bill on the relationship between energy and water which could have wide implications for desalination research, both in the US and internationally.

TWO process to recover sodium sulphate from ion-exchange

California-based Catalyx Inc has signed a build-own-operate contract with RG Global Lifestyles Inc, which owns Catalyx Fluid Systems (CFS), for a brine dehydration system to facilitate recovery of sodium sulfate from ion-exchange regenerant brine.

Forward-osmosis patent filed by QuantumSphere

Another forward-osmosis process has taken a step forward. QuantumSphere Inc filed for a US patent on 14 January 2009 for its water purification process, which, it claims, serves as a more energy-efficient alternative to desalination methods now commonly used.

US researchers develop lean energy membrane-based system

Researchers at Humboldt State University, USA are developing a portable prototype pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) seawater desalination (SWRO) system that exploits the osmotic pressure differential between brine waste from SWRO and wastewater. In turn the system deploys the PRO energy in the SWRO.

Cost, regulation, and water scarcity are driving a shift in mindset toward resource recovery in brine treatment

The Long Read: Where's the innovation in brine treatment?

As water scarcity bites and the drive to recycle water grows, the focus on recovering clean water and other resources from brine is sharpening. The challenge is particularly pertinent for industrial operators.

Speakers announced for IDA conference in Banff

Speakers and sessions for the May conference on Water Recycling and Desalination for the Oil & Gas Industry have been announced by the organizers, the International Desalination Association (IDA).

Modern Water's pilot plant was housed in a 20-foot container

Modern Water signs first brine concentration deal after pilot

Modern Water has secured the first sale of its proprietary All-Membrane Brine Concentration (AMBC) technology, to a textile dyes company in India.

Registration open for AMTA/AWWA membrane conference

Registration has been opened and new sessions added to the programme for the 2013 Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition in San Antonio, Texas, on 25-28 February 2013.

Inventor of water technologies Marc Vergnet adjusts the controls on Osmosun, his new solar-powered reverse osmosis desalination system that does not use batteries or energy storage, chemicals, or grid supplies of electricity

Masdar desal pilot: the results so far

Masdar Clean Energy set a target for its pilot projects of one cubic metre of water for every 3.6 kilowatt hours of energy used. This is a particularly challenging target in the Persian Gulf, where salinity is very high, the water temperature is high, it's very shallow, and there's high organic matter.

Global demand for desalination to rise each year until at least 2020

Desalination capacity is expected to grow by 8 per cent annually to 140 million m3/d by 2020, new research shows.

Oasys opens new office in Dubai

Forward osmosis specialist, Oasys Water, recently opened a new office in Dubai to bring on "industrial water treatment innovations in the Middle East."

Researchers cast doubt on economics of osmotic power

New research findings have questioned the economics of power production from pressure retarded osmosis (PRO).

Forward osmosis: mainstream or margins?

The authors have taken a look at findings in a recent BlueTech report tracking the prospects for forward osmosis as a player in conventional desalination and water reuse applications. This article first appeared in the February 2016 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.

Modern Water in tie up with Bilfinger Deutsche Babcock

Water and wastewater treatment technologies firm, Modern Water has signed an agreement with construction, operation and maintenance services company, Bilfinger Deutsche Babcock Middle East. The deal covers the joint development and commercialisation of Modern Water's proprietary forward osmosis technology, in multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination plants across the Middle East and Northern Africa.

3rd Osmosis Membrane Summit set for Barcelona

Norwegian power company Statkraft, which is developing forward osmosis for energy, is organising the 3rd Osmosis Membrane Summit on 26-27 April 2012 alongside the European Desalination Society's conference and exhibition in Barcelona, Spain (23-26 April 2012).

Mining firm strikes funding deal for desalination plant at planned mine

Mining firm, White Mountain Titanium, has agreed a deal with US private equity company, Nexo Capital Partners, to fund, construct and manage a desalination plant to form part of White Mountain's planned Cerro Blanco mining project in Chile.

Topics and presenters announced for IDA Academy course

The next International Desalination Association (IDA) Academy course, to be held at the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi on 21‑22 January 2014 will feature Integration of Hybrid Technologies with Renewable Energy to Improve the Sustainability of Water Desalination and Sustainable Operation with Advanced Membrane Filtration.

Drinks on the International Space Station

NASA, space flight, water recycling and forward osmosis

For manned space vehicles and especially for the International Space Station, America's National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has had to invent and adapt many technologies. Not least among these are those aimed at life support and water supply in particular. In developing these, forward osmosis (FO) is playing a prominent part. NASA Research in FO has demonstrated that it has both spacecraft and terrestrial applications. The terrestrial applications are just now becoming a reality. This article first appeared in the August/September 2011 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.

IDA lifetime achievement award for Toray's Kurihara

A lifetime achievement award to Dr Masaru Kurihara of Toray Membranes was awarded by the International Desalination Association at its awards banquet which closed the IDA World Congress in Perth, Australia on 8 September 2011.

Video Q&A: Boris Liberman, IDE Technologies

IDE Technologies' chief technology officer Boris Liberman gives Water. desal + reuse the lowdown on a demonstration project for its latest technology, Eco-Reuse.

Oasys furthers advance in China

US-based forward osmosis specialist, Oasys Water, has unveiled its latest advance in its bid to expand in China with its partner in the region, Beijing Woteer.

Dr Richard Stover pictured at a Japan Desalination Association forum in February 2011.

Stover leaves Oasys for Desalitech

Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) old boy Dr Richard Stover has joined Tel Aviv-based Desalitech, a company with a desalination process that does away with energy-recovery devices.

Modern Water opens new office in Shanghai

UK company Modern Water announced on 26 November 2013 the formation of Modern Water Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd and the opening of its new office in Shanghai, China.

Japanese desalination forum program announced

The program has been announced for the Japan Desalination Association (JDA) 2011 Forum in Tokyo on 16 February 2011.

ERI to cooperate with Koreans on PRO for energy

Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) announced on 15 October 2013 that it has signed a mutual cooperation agreement with Seoul-based global company GS Engineering & Construction Corporation (GS E&C Corp), part of Korean conglomerate GS Group, to significantly advance osmotic power generation using ERI's PX Pressure Exchanger® technology.

ERI appoints Dyer as CTO

Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) has appointed Tim Dyer as chief technology officer (CTO) to replace Rick Stover, who left ERI in January to join forward-osmosis company Oasys. Previously ERI chief scientist, Dyer will manage all engineering and R&D initiatives.

IChemE forecasts more UK municipal desalination by 2050

By 2050, at least four municipal desalination plants and up to 800 smaller units could be providing water to UK households and industry.

Stover becomes Oasys vice-president of engineering

Rick Stover, whose exit from Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) was announced last week, joined Oasys, the developer of Engineered Osmosis™ systems for desalination, energy and resource recovery, as vice- president of engineering, on 19 January 2010.

Registration opened for next IDA Academy courses

The International Desalination Association has opened registration for the next IDA Desalination Academy courses in Singapore on 16‑19 September 2013.

Aquaporin Inside membranes replicate nature's own way of filtering water using aquaporin protein

Aquaporin acquisition secures supply of membrane protein

Aquaporin of Denmark is to acquire Golgi, a company established in 2016 that is able to produce aquaporin protein in large quantities.

Dr Isabel Escobar

Escobar appointed as editor-in-chief of IDA journal

Dr Isabel Escobar of the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA, has been appointed by the International Desalination Association (IDA) to succeed Dr Jim Birkett as editor-in-chief of the IDA Journal of Desalination & Water Reuse.

Singapore and Tianjin next IDA Academy venues

Singapore is the venue for the next course in the schedule of the International Desalination Association (IDA) Academy.

The Oasys pilot plant

Oasys gets $10 million capital

Oasys, the Yale University forward-osmosis desalination start-up company, says that it has secured US$ 10 million in venture capital funding for production of a commercial unit in two years time, says the Boston Globe.

The process container at Al Khaluf.

Forward osmosis is not to be ignored

For about 3 or 4 years now, D&WR has annually requested a feature from Modern Water about the company's development of forward osmosis and its desalination plants in Gibraltar and Oman. So it was with pleasure that we finally received the article below, which shows the consistent strides the firm has been making with the process. This article first appeared in the February/March 2013 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse magazine.

Combining Forward Osmosis with Reverse Osmosis

A combination of forward osmosis with reverse osmosis could facilitate the treatment of some high fouling wastewaters. The system uses brine to draw water from the wastewater without high pressure or turbulence. Key element is the membrane's ability to allow rapid passage of water without much internal concentration polarization. The diluted draw solution can then be desalinated by reverse osmosis. The Two-Way Osmosis or TWO system may also be usable in very remote areas, where seawater ponds can be built for evaporative recovery of salt. Catalyx is designing a pilot system (patent pending) to desalinate seawater without external electric power. This article was published in the May/June 2009 issue of Desalination & Water Reuse.

Desalination using forward osmosis with nanofiltration membranes

Forward osmosis (FO) is an emerging membrane technology, often used for desalination. Like reverse osmosis (RO), FO uses a semi-permeable membrane to separate water from dissolved solutes. The semi-permeable membrane acts as a barrier that allows water to pass through while blocking salts. Generally, any dense, non-porous, selectively permeable material can be used as a membrane for FO. Professor Chung invented a novel polybenzimidazole (PBI) nanofiltration (NF) membrane with a narrow pore size and high flux for the FO process. PBI was chosen mainly because of its robust mechanical strength and excellent chemical stability. However, at high ionic strength (normal in FO applications) and normal operational pH values, the charge of the membrane surface is neutral, leading to a decrease in electrostatic repulsion between the membrane surface and electrolytes to be rejected. Consequently, monovalent salts rejection decreases. Ideal NF membranes for FO would be highly negatively charged at most pH values. Additionally, these membranes are hydrophobic and have a propensity to foul during operation. Therefore, this collaboration is performing research to improve the separation performance of the PBI FO membrane by (1) lowering membrane fouling via chemical modification, and (2) increasing its monovalent salt-rejection via membrane surface modifications. Since these properties are given to a porous PBI NF membrane instead of the conventionally used dense RO membranes, this project has the potential to revolutionize the field of desalination using FO. Development of a desalination process technology using the FO route has the potential to achieve up to a 75% decrease in costs and energy consumption in desalination, in comparison with conventional thermal or RO processes. This technology is still undergoing research. Acknowledgments The source of funding was the National Science Foundation, NSF OISE 0832894. This article appeared in D&WR magazine's May/June 2009 issue.


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