A comprehensive review of hybrid forward osmosis systems: Performance, applications and future prospects

Laura Chekli, Sherub Phuntsho, Jung Eun Kim, Jihye Kim, Joon Young Choi, June Seok Choi, Suhan Kim, Joon Ha Kim, Seungkwan Hong, Jinsik Sohn, H. K. Shon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

278 Citations (Scopus)


Forward osmosis (FO) has been increasingly studied in the past decade for its potential as an emerging low-energy water and wastewater treatment process. However, the term "low-energy" may only be suitable for those applications in where no further treatment of the draw solution (DS) is required either in the form of pretreatment or post-treatment to the FO process (e.g. where the diluted DS is the targeted final product which can be used directly or simply discarded). In most applications, FO has to be coupled with another separation process in a so-called hybrid FO system to either separate the DS from the final product water or to be used as an advanced pre-treatment process to conventional desalination technologies. The additional process increases the capital cost as well as the energy demand of the overall system which is one of the several challenges that hybrid FO systems need to overcome to compete with other separation technologies. Yet, there are some applications where hybrid FO systems can outperform conventional processes and this study aims to provide a comprehensive review on the current state of hybrid FO systems. The recent development and performance of hybrid FO systems in different applications have been reported. This review also highlights the future research directions for the current hybrid FO systems to achieve successful implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-449
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (code 14IFIP-B087385-01 ) from Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean Government and the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Future Fellowships ( FT140101208 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Desalination
  • Draw solution
  • Forward osmosis
  • Hybrid systems
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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