Resource recovery by osmotic bioelectrochemical systems towards sustainable wastewater treatment
Recovering valuable resources from wastewater will transform wastewater management from a treatment focused strategy to a sustainability focused strategy, creating a need for new technology development. Osmotic bioelectrochemical systems (OsBESs), an innovative treatment concept which is based on cooperation between bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) and forward osmosis (FO), have been introduced and studied in the past few years. An OsBES can accomplish the simultaneous treatment of wastewater and recovery of resources such as nutrients, energy, and water (NEW). The cooperation can be accomplished in either an internal (integrated OsBES) or external (coupled OsBES) configuration, through a strong synergy between a BES and FO. A BES can provide draw solute, perform pre-treatment, or reduce reverse salt flux to help with FO operation, while FO can achieve water recovery, enhance current generation, and supply energy sources to BES operation. Given that there has been much progress and interest in the OsBES, this paper reviews the previous studies, describes the current status, presents qualitative and quantitative analyses, and discusses the perspectives of the OsBES technology, focusing on NEW recovery from wastewater. The challenges for further research and development of OsBESs have also been identified.