A low-energy forward osmosis process to produce drinking water

Zhaoyang Liu, Hongwei Bai, Jonathan Lee, Darren Delai Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)


Forward osmosis (FO) represents a tremendous and untapped opportunity with the potential to solve the global water crisis. The biggest challenge facing the application of FO technology is the economical separation of drinking water from its draw solution. Using advances in nanotechnology, we herein describe a novel draw solute separation system which mimics a natural " destabilization" phenomenon with the help of superparamagnetic nanoparticles, thus separating drinking water from draw solution without any intensive energy, such as, hydraulic pressure or heat. Also, this process is not afflicted by the commonly observed problem of reverse salt diffusion. All these characteristics of this novel draw solution separation system make FO to be an eco-sustainable process for the production of drinking water from wastewater without any waste.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2582-2585
Number of pages4
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution

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