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Durham University

Department of Engineering

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Jun Jie Wu

Field, R., Siddiqui, F., Ang, P. & Wu, J.J. (2018). Analysis of the influence of module construction upon forward osmosis performance. Desalination 431: 151-156.

Author(s) from Durham


The potential of a commercial forward osmosis (FO) module to recover water from NEWater brine, an RO retentate, was assessed by taking an innovative approach to obtaining the mass transfer coefficients. The performance comparison of the spiral wound (S-W) FO module with that of the flat sheet laboratory unit suggests that the winding involved in S-W construction can adversely affect performance; the values for the S-W mass transfer coefficients were half of those expected. This first-of-its-kind performance comparison utilised coupons of the membrane and spacers taken from the module. The module was used both in the conventional manner for FO and in the reverse manner with the active layer facing the draw solution. Estimates of membrane parameters and mass transfer coefficients experiments for the two orientations were obtained using pure water, 10 mM and 25 mM NaCl solution on the feed side and 1 M NaCl as draw solution. The fouling potential of NEWater brine per se was found to be low. These are the first results with a S-W module that suggest potential for this niche application; nevertheless the level of the water flux through the S-W module clearly indicates that industrial applications of S-W FO will be constrained to special cases.