Thermodynamic analysis of a stand-alone reverse osmosis desalination system powered by pressure retarded osmosis

Wei He, Yang Wang, Adel Sharif, Mohammad Hasan Shaheed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, a methodology is developed to assess the feasibility of a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination system powered by a stand-alone salinity driven pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) technology. First, the proposed hybrid RO-PRO system is analysed as a thermodynamic cycle and its feasibility is mathematically interpreted using a feasible condition (FC) number, several dimensionless operational variables and a number of constraints to represent the objective of zero brine discharge. Then, a study of the stand-alone feasibility of a hybrid seawater RO-PRO system is carried out. The results show that lower RO water recovery and higher dimensionless flow rate improve the stand-alone feasibility of the system. A subsystem, a look inside the PRO, is developed to study the applied pressure and the required membrane area to achieve the operations with optimum FC numbers. It is found that the optimum applied hydraulic pressure is inversely proportional to the dimensionless flow rate in the feasible range of stand-alone operations and more area of membrane is required by a larger FC number. Finally, a case study of a selected operation is presented based on its energy performance, and two influencing factors, the inefficiency of the components and the salinity concentration of the feed water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Feasibility constant
  • Pressure retarded osmosis
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Stand-alone
  • Zero brine discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology

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