Forward osmosis: dyeing draw solutions for water reclamation from feed water resources

Estella Z Jingxi, Debbie De Jager, Robyn Augustine, Irena Petrinic, Claus Hélix-Nielsen, Marshall S. Sheldon*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Reactive Black 5 and Basic Blue 41 GRL dyeing solutions (dye-to-salt mixture in a 1:10 dye-to-salt mass ratio) were investigated as draw solutions (DS) in a forward osmosis (FO) system with a biomimetic membrane. Synthetic seawater (SSW) and textile wastewater (TWW1 and TWW2) were evaluated as feed solutions (FS) for water reclamation. Reactive Black 5 and Basic Blue 41 GRL were diluted from 0.02 M to concentrations of 0.002 and 0.004 M, respectively. With Reactive Black 5 as DS and SSW as FS, an initial flux of 20.24 L/m2 h and water recovery of 75% was achieved. Using TWW1 and TWW2, initial water fluxes of 19.51 and 13.43 L/m2 h were achieved, respectively, with a 30% water recovery. Using Basic Blue 41 GRL, initial water fluxes of 18.72, 15.13 and 13.42 L/m2 h were achieved with SSW, TWW1, and TWW2 as FS with water recoveries of 50%, 20% and 20%, respectively. The average reverse solute fluxes for Reactive Black 5 and Basic Blue 41 GRL were 0.06 to 0.34 g/m2 h, respectively. Diluted dyeing solutions were produced, with simultaneous water reclamation from SSW and TWW resulting in similar or higher water fluxes and lower reverse solute fluxes compared with other commercially available membranes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1053-1062
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Biomimetic membranes
  • Draw solutions
  • Feed solutions
  • Forward osmosis
  • Textile wastewater

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