Factors affecting the performance of membrane osmotic processes for bioenergy development

Wen Yi Chia, Kuan Shiong Khoo, Shir Reen Chia, Kit Wayne Chew, Guo Yong Yew, Yeek Chia Ho, Pau Loke Show, Wei Hsin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Forward osmosis (FO) and pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) have gained attention recently as potential processes to solve water and energy scarcity problems with advantages over pressure-driven membrane processes. These processes can be designed to produce bioenergy and clean water at the same time (i.e., wastewater treatment with power generation). Despite having significant technological advancement, these bioenergy processes are yet to be implemented in full scale and commercialized due to its relatively low performance. Hence, massive and extensive research has been carried out to evaluate the variables in FO and PRO processes such as osmotic membrane, feed solutions, draw solutions, and operating conditions in order to maximize the outcomes, which include water flux and power density. However, these research findings have not been summarized and properly reviewed. The key parts of this review are to discuss the factors influencing the performance of FO and PRO with respective resulting effects and to determine the research gaps in their optimization with the aim of further improving these bioenergy processes and commercializing them in various industrial applications.

Original languageBritish English
Article number481
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Concentration polarization
  • Draw solution
  • Feed solution
  • Forward osmosis
  • Membrane fouling
  • Operating conditions
  • Osmotic membrane
  • Pressure-retarded osmosis


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