Self-Regulating Behavior of Hybrid Membrane Systems as Demonstrated in an Element-Scale Forward Osmosis-Reverse Osmosis Hybrid System

27 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2023

See all articles by Noah Ferguson

Noah Ferguson

University of Connecticut

Maqsud R. Chowdhury

University of Connecticut

Colin Fitzsimonds

University of Connecticut

Nicole Beauregard

University of Connecticut

Mayur Ostwal

University of Connecticut

Marianne Pemberton

University of Connecticut

Edward Wazer

University of Connecticut

Caylin Cyr

University of Connecticut

Ranjan Srivastava

University of Connecticut

Jeffrey R. McCutcheon

University of Connecticut

Abstract

Hybrid membrane systems can be difficult to design due to the requisite flow rate matching between up- and downstream unit operations. In this work, we use a forward osmosis- reverse osmosis (FO-RO) hybrid system to demonstrate how some membrane systems can exhibit self-regulating behavior due to a tendancy for systems like these to move toward thermodynamic equilibrium.  This can lessen the need for complex control system for flow balancing.   We show this behavior using a module-scale test bed that can mimic the behavior of larger scale systems. The system shows permeate flow rate near-convergence between the FO and RO modules after startup or when perturbed by a change in RO module pressure.  While not promoting FO as a technology for desalination, we believe that exploring the behavior of this hybrid system  shows how some membrane systems can leverage thermodynamics, rather than expensive control systems, to achieve steady state operation.

Keywords: process control, hybrid systems, osmotic processes, debottlenecking

Suggested Citation

Ferguson, Noah and Chowdhury, Maqsud R. and Fitzsimonds, Colin and Beauregard, Nicole and Ostwal, Mayur and Pemberton, Marianne and Wazer, Edward and Cyr, Caylin and Srivastava, Ranjan and McCutcheon, Jeffrey R., Self-Regulating Behavior of Hybrid Membrane Systems as Demonstrated in an Element-Scale Forward Osmosis-Reverse Osmosis Hybrid System. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4528921 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4528921

Noah Ferguson

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Maqsud R. Chowdhury

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Colin Fitzsimonds

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Nicole Beauregard

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Mayur Ostwal

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Marianne Pemberton

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Edward Wazer

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Caylin Cyr

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Ranjan Srivastava

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Jeffrey R. McCutcheon (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

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