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Thermodynamic optimization of Multistage Pressure Retarded Osmosis (MPRO) with variable feed pressures for hypersaline solutions
Desalination, Volume: 477, Start page: 114245
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Salinity gradient processes, such as Forward Osmosis and Pressure Retarded Osmosis, have been proven to be promising technologies for reducing the energy consumption in water treatment processes, for energy production, and for energy recovery. In such processes higher power densities can be achieved...
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Salinity gradient processes, such as Forward Osmosis and Pressure Retarded Osmosis, have been proven to be promising technologies for reducing the energy consumption in water treatment processes, for energy production, and for energy recovery. In such processes higher power densities can be achieved by applying higher hydraulic pressures on the draw solution, this requires greater mechanical stability of the membrane to be able to withstand these higher hydraulic pressures. Therefore, there is a limitation to the salinity of the draw solution which can be used in the PRO processes. This being dependent on the concentration of the hypersaline solution and hence overall hydraulic pressure, necessitating the use of an ultra-thick support layer for maximum energy production and/or recovery. In this theoretical and simulative optimization of the PRO process, we achieved the optimum energy recovery from a hypersaline solution (TDS ~ 300,000 mg/L) by using a multistage PRO (MPRO) system which included implementing variable applied feed pressures to each stage. The results showed that the volumetric flow rate of the hypersaline draw solution increased by up to a factor of 10 during the MPRO process in single pass, and the concentration of the hypersaline draw solution diluted up to 10x accordingly.