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Smart Materials as Forward Osmosis Draw Solutes

With the growing global demand for fresh water for consumption, it is of great importance to find novel technologies to produce fresh water efficiently. In recent years, forward osmosis (FO) has emerged as a promising membrane technology for seawater desalination and wastewater treatment. A crucial requirement for an efficient FO process is to find a draw solute that is able to generate a high water flux and can be regenerated via facile recovery methods. Smart materials exhibit advantages as FO draw agents to lower the energy cost of regeneration as they can respond to stimuli to undergo physical or chemical changes that facilitate separation from solvents. Therefore, increasing research efforts have been devoted to the design of smart draw solutes. This chapter aims to review the recent development of various smart draw solutes. It begins with a general introduction to the FO process. Next, hydrophilic magnetic nanoparticles and stimuli-responsive magnetic nanoparticles are discussed, followed by the study of smart polyelectrolytes, solvents and hydrogels. The concluding remarks present future perspectives on using smart draw solutes for FO processes.

Publication details

Print publication date
24 Feb 2016
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Smart Materials Series