Environmental technology

Application of a nanofibrous composite membrane to the fertilizer-driven forward osmosis process for irrigation water use.

PMID 27973983


In this study, we fabricated a nanofibrous composite (NFC) membrane as a substrate to produce forward osmosis (FO) membranes, and we also assessed the use of liquid fertilizer as a draw solution for the FO process in order to produce agricultural irrigation water. Commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) and thin-film composite (TFC) FO membranes were included in this study. Under FO tests, the NFC, CTA, and TFC membranes achieved initial osmotic water flux values of 35.31, 6.85, and 3.31 L/m2·h and final osmotic water flux values of 12.62, 6.31, and 3.85 L/m2 h, respectively. The reason for the high osmotic water flux of the NFC membrane is because its nanofiber layer has low tortuosity, high porosity, and a low thickness, resulting in a reduction in the internal concentration polarization phenomenon. When liquid fertilizer was used as the draw solution, the water flux values in the FO experiments for the NFC, CTA, and TFC membranes were 15.54, 5.46, and 2.54 L/m2 h. Finally, our results revealed that the FO process using liquid fertilizer as a draw solution can be applied to produce agricultural irrigation water from brackish water and the newly fabricated NFC membrane can be applied to the FO process.

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1,3,5-Benzenetricarbonyl trichloride, 98%