Theoretical investigation of hybrid desalination system combining reverse osmosis and forward osmosis

June Seok Choi, Hwan Kim, Sangho Lee, Tae Mun Hwang, Hyunje Oh, Dae Ryook Yang, Joon Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Forward osmosis (FO) is a membrane-based desalination technique using an osmotic pressure gradient as a driving force. FO enables lower energy consumption to produce water than reverse osmosis (RO) because it does not require high transmembrane pressure. However, FO needs to be combined with other processes such as RO or evaporation because the draw salts in the FO products should be removed. This paper focused on theoretical investigation of combined systems with FO and RO for seawater desalination. A theoretical model to predict the performance of the combined systems was developed based on the solution-diffusion model and the modified film theory. The effect of internal concentration polarization on FO efficiency was also considered in the model. A pilot-scale system of FO and RO was assumed for model calculations. Results showed that the combinations of FO with seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) have potential for desalination with high recovery (up to 80%). It was also found that FO may be incorporated with brackish reverse osmosis (BWRO) to produce high quality of water with higher flux and recovery than conventional RO-based desalination systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar


  • Desalination
  • Forward osmosis
  • Hybrid system
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Water reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical investigation of hybrid desalination system combining reverse osmosis and forward osmosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this