Theoretical analysis of a seawater desalination process integrating forward osmosis, crystallization, and reverse osmosis

Do Yeon Kim, Boram Gu, Joon Ha Kim, Dae Ryook Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


A hybrid forward osmosis (FO)/crystallization/reverse osmosis (RO) process for seawater desalination was proposed, and the theoretical analysis of the process was conducted. When the FO unit is considered as the main desalination unit, the crystallization and RO units can be regarded as a draw solute recovery process. First, in the FO process, fresh water is extracted from seawater and permeates into draw solution. This diluted draw solution is cooled down in the crystallization process and the draw solute is precipitated up to the saturation at low temperature. As a result, the feed stream of the RO process has lower concentration, and consequently, total energy consumption is expected to be reduced. In order to apply the proposed process in practice, the selection of suitable draw solute should be carefully determined. In the present work, five substances were suggested as draw solutes in the proposed system: ammonium oxalate, ammonium aluminum sulfate, sodium periodate, sodium phosphate and sodium sulfate. Based on properties of the substances, total energy consumption was analyzed for each draw solute. The total energy was calculated by the sum of cooling energy in crystallization process and pumping energy in RO process. Through the hybridization of these three unit processes, the energy requirement for fresh water production can be reduced to 2.15kWh/m3. Thus, it is concluded that the proposed process can be highly competitive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-448
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct 1


  • Crystallization
  • Desalination
  • Draw solute
  • Forward osmosis
  • Reverse osmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


Dive into the research topics of 'Theoretical analysis of a seawater desalination process integrating forward osmosis, crystallization, and reverse osmosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this