Electro-osmotic thermal process model for performance enhancement of forward osmosis integrated with membrane distillation

Badr Bin Ashoor Al Mahri, Hammed Abiodun Balogun, Ahmed Yusuf, Adewale Giwa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


An electroosmotic membrane bioreactor (eOMBR) is employed as the feed side of a forward osmosis (FO) unit for municipal wastewater treatment. Freshwater is drawn osmotically from the feed side to the draw side by desalination brine. The diluted brine is regenerated thermally by direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). The combined eOMBR-DCMD process, referred to as electro-osmotic thermal process (eOTP), is modeled and its performance is assessed in terms of performance indicators including osmotic water permeation (Jw), reverse salt diffusion flux (Js), and internal concentration polarization parameter (JICP). These indicators depend on operating factors such as draw inlet concentration (cd), sludge retention time in eOMBR (SRT), diffusion coefficient in draw side (Kd), draw inlet flow rate (Qd), and ICP coefficient (KICP). eOTP performance is evaluated in terms of how electric field influences the relationship between the indicators and operating factors. cd and KICP are the most influential factors. Electric field improves the beneficial effect of cd on Jw and reduces the adverse effect of KICP on Jw. Electric field also reduces the adverse effect of cd on JICP but worsens the adverse effect of KICP on JICP. Electric field does not influence the sensitivity of Js to changes in KICP. Lower current density levels improve eOTP performance. The water productivity of eOTP is also improved by higher temperature levels at the draw side when the current density is 5 A/m2. The cost of fresh water production by eOTP was estimated to be $1.90 per m3. This theoretical assessment shows that electro-thermal effects provide a potential for wastewater and brine reuse.

Original languageBritish English
Article number116494
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Brine
  • Electro-osmotic thermal
  • Forward osmosis
  • Membrane distillation
  • Wastewater


Dive into the research topics of 'Electro-osmotic thermal process model for performance enhancement of forward osmosis integrated with membrane distillation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this