Use of micellar solutions as draw agents in forward osmosis

James Roach, Abdulrahman Al-Abdulmalek, Alaa Al-Naama, Mohammed Haji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent advances in membrane technologies have enhanced the viability of water treatment strategies that employ semipermeable barriers. Forward osmosis (FO), which exploits the natural osmotic pressure gradient between a "draw" solution and a "feed" solution to produce potable water, offers a low-energy, low-cost alternative to more conventional treatment methods. Surfactants, because of their tendencies to aggregate into micelles and to adsorb at interfaces, provide intriguing osmotic pressures and offer exploitable properties by which draw solutions can be regenerated. The effectiveness of surfactant-based FO using cellulose triacetate membranes has been assessed in terms of water flux and reverse surfactant diffusion using cetylpyridinium chloride, sodium dodecylsulfate, and Triton X-100. The ratios of water flux to surfactant flux exceeded 600 L mol-1 for all surfactants studied. Surfactant recoveries of over 99 % were achieved by ultrafiltration using regenerated cellulose membranes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1248
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surfactants and Detergents
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2014



  • Draw solution
  • Forward osmosis
  • Surfactant
  • Ultrafiltration
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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