Publication Details

Ansari, A. J., Hai, F. I., Guo, W., Ngo, H. H., Price, W. E. & Nghiem, L. D. (2016). Factors governing the pre-concentration of wastewater using forward osmosis for subsequent resource recovery. Science of the Total Environment, 566-567 559-566.


This study demonstrated a technique using forward osmosis (FO) to pre-concentrate the organic matter in raw wastewater, thereby transforming low strength wastewater into an anaerobically digestible solution. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) of raw wastewater was concentrated up to approximately eightfold at a water recovery of 90%. Thus, even low strength wastewater could be pre-concentrated by FO to the range suitable for biogas production via anaerobic treatment. Excessive salinity accumulation in pre-concentrated wastewater was successfully mitigated by adopting ionic organic draw solutes, namely, sodium acetate, and EDTA-2Na. These two draw solutes are also expected to benefit the digestibility of the pre-concentrated wastewater compared to the commonly used draw solute sodium chloride. Significant membrane fouling was observed when operating at 90% water recovery using raw wastewater. Nevertheless, membrane fouling was reversible and was effectively controlled by optimising the hydrodynamic conditions of the cross-flow FO system.



Link to publisher version (DOI)