Comprehensive analysis of a hybrid FO/crystallization/RO process for improving its economic feasibility to seawater desalination

Kiho Park, Do Yeon Kim, Yoon Hyuk Jang, Min gyu Kim, Dae Ryook Yang, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the FO/crystallization/RO hybrid process was analyzed comprehensively, including experimentation, modeling, and energy and cost estimation, to examine and improve its feasibility to seawater desalination. A new operating strategy by heating the FO process to 45 °C was suggested, and a detailed process design was conducted. A comparative analysis with the conventional seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) process was performed in terms of specific energy consumption (SEC) and specific water cost (SWC). The hybrid process can produce fresh water with SWC of 0.6964 $/m3, electrical SEC of 2.71 kWh/m3, and thermal SEC of 14.684 kWh/m3. Compared to the conventional SWRO process (SWC of 0.6890 $/m3 and electrical SEC of 2.674 kWh/m3), the hybrid process can produce water with comparable cost and energy consumption. An economic feasibility study that utilized the waste heat and the developed FO technology was also carried out to investigate future developments of the hybrid process. The SWC can be reduced to 0.6435 $/m3 with free waste heat energy. The permeate water quality of the hybrid process was about half that of the conventional SWRO process on molar basis. The results revealed that the FO/crystallization/RO hybrid process can be utilized as a competitive process for seawater desalination with high recovery and high water quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115426
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 15


  • Economic analysis
  • Forward osmosis
  • Modeling
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Seawater desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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