American Chemical Society
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Experimental Study of a 4040 Spiral-Wound Forward-Osmosis Membrane Module

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-09-15, 00:00 authored by Yu Chang Kim, Sang-Jin Park
This paper analyzes the structural features of a spiral-wound forward-osmosis (SW FO) membrane module via an experimental approach and presents the relationships between the water flux and operating conditions for design and operation of a large-scale FO process. The SW FO module has four ports: an inlet/outlet for the draw solution and an inlet/outlet for the feed solution. Accordingly, two strongly interacting flow streams existed on either side of the membrane with spatially variable properties. Unlike the operation of a membrane cell device loaded with a small membrane coupon, it was appropriate to operate a housing-type FO unit loaded with a 4040 SW FO module with a lower draw flow rate than feed flow rate. Because of the structural features of the SW FO module, the draw solution flowed inside of the membrane envelope under a considerable pressure in order to overcome the flow resistance. The effect of operating conditions on the water flux in a 4040 SW FO module was investigated. A water flux equation based on a temperature-correction factor (TCF) was proposed to predict the water flux at a given temperature. Our study is a good reference point for designing the FO process and FO membrane module.