Use of biomimetic forward osmosis membrane for trace organics removal

Henrik T. Madsen, Niada Bajraktari, Claus Helix Nielsen, Bart Van der Bruggen, Erik G. Søgaard

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The use of forward osmosis for the removal of trace organics from water has recently attracted considerable attention as an alternative to traditional pressure driven membrane filtration. However, the existing forward osmosis membranes have been found to be ineffective at rejecting small neutral organic pollutants, which limits the applicability of the forward osmosis process. In this study a newly developed biomimetic membrane was tested for the removal of three selected trace organics that can be considered as a bench marking test for a membrane[U+05F3]s ability to reject small neutral organic pollutants in aqueous solution. The performance of this membrane was compared with a standard cellulose acetate forward osmosis membrane. The aquaporin membrane was found to have rejection values above 97% for all three trace organics, which was significantly higher than the cellulose acetate membrane. This difference is caused by differences in the transport mechanisms. For the cellulose acetate membrane rejection is controlled by steric hindrance, which results in a size dependent rejection of the trace organics, whereas rejection by the aquaporin membrane is controlled by diffusion of the trace organics. Furthermore, the aquaporin membrane was found to have a higher pure water flux.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Membrane Science
    Pages (from-to)469-474
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Aquaporin
    • Biomimetic
    • Forward osmosis
    • Pesticide
    • Trace organic


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