Comprehensive review of osmotic dilution/concentration using FO membranes for practical applications

Min Zhan, Youngjin Kim, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Forward osmosis (FO) has attracted growing attention in the field of membrane-based separation technology over the last two decades. Despite recent advancements in various osmosis-assisted processes, few studies have succeeded in commercialization. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art developments of FO membrane, limitation analysis, and commercial proper applications. First, the development of FO technology in terms of FO membranes, FO draw solution (DS), and FO systems is reviewed. Based on a literature database survey spanning 1965-2020, current limitations of FO, particularly in terms of DS regeneration, energy consumption, and scale-up implementation, are identified to overcome the obstacles to commercialization. The key applications of the FO membrane process in commercial sectors are further classified into three configurations (i.e., osmotic dilution, osmotic concentration, and simultaneous osmotic dilution and concentration), and their successful applications are discussed. Since industrial demonstrations of simultaneous osmotic dilution and concentration are in progress, we believe that FO technology with no need for DS regeneration will be commercialized soon in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115190
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov 1


  • Current limitations
  • Draw solution regeneration
  • Forward osmosis
  • Osmotic concentration
  • Osmotic dilution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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