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(61d) Polymeric Membranes for Forward Osmosis (FO) and Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) Applications

Chung, T. S., National University of Singapore

Clean water, clean energy, global warming and affordable healthcare are four major concerns globally resulting from clean water shortages, high fluctuations of oil prices, climate changes and high costs of healthcare. Clean water and public health are also highly related, while energy is essential for prosperity.

Among many potential solutions, advances in membrane technology are one of the most direct, effective and feasible approaches to solve these sophisticated issues. Membrane technology is a fully integrated science and engineering which consists of materials science and engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, separation and purification phenomena, environmental science and sustainability, statistical mechanics-based molecular simulation, process and product design.

In this presentation, we will introduce our efforts on FO and PRO to solve some of these issues and enhance earth sustainability. Our recent technology breakthroughs on membrane developments for FO and PRO membranes will be highlighted.


This research was funded by the Singapore National Research Foundation under its Competitive Research Program for the project entitled, “Advanced FO Membranes and Membrane Systems for Wastewater Treatment, Water Reuse and Seawater Desalination” (grant number: R-279-000-336-281) and was also supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation under its Environmental & Water Technologies Strategic Research Programme and administered by the Environment & Water Industry Programme Office (EWI) of the PUB. The author would like to thank Prof. D. R. Paul, Drs. K. Y. Wang, N. Widjojo, P. Sukitpaneenit, S. Zhang, Q. C. Ge, M. M. Ling, S. P. Sun, Ms. X. Li, Ms. R. C. Ong, Miss Y. Cui, Ms. H. H. P. Duong, Miss P. Z. Zhong, Miss X. Z. Fu, Mr. G. Han, Mr. P. Wang and Mr. F. J. Fu for their supports and suggestions. Thanks are also due to BASF, Eastman Chemicals and Mitsui Chemicals for their unique materials and final supports.


(1)   T. S. Chung, X. Li, R. C. Ong. Q. C. Ge, H. L. Wang, G. Han, Emerging forward osmosis (FO) technologies and challenges ahead for clean water and clean energy applications, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering1, 246–257 (2012).

(2)   T. S. Chung,S. Zhang, K. Y. Wang, J. C. Su, M. M. Ling, Forward osmosis processes: yesterday, today and tomorrow, Desalination  287, 78–81 (2012).