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Water Res. 2015 Mar 1;70:385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.12.023. Epub 2014 Dec 23.

Functionalized thermo-responsive microgels for high performance forward osmosis desalination.

Author information

1
School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
2
School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Electronic address: bo.jin@adelaide.edu.au.
3
School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia. Electronic address: s.dai@adelaide.edu.au.

Abstract

Stimuli-responsive hydrogels were recently proposed for energy-saving forward osmosis (FO) process. However, their low water flux and dewatering ability for reuse make them less attractive for industrial desalination process. In this work, the co-polymer microgels of N-isopropylacrylamide and acrylic acid with different mixing ratios were synthesized using surfactant-free emulsion polymerization to produce submicron-size hydrogels with high surface area and fast swelling-deswelling response. The microgels were employed as draw agents in a laboratory scale FO desalination system. The microgel-based FO process performed a high water flux up to 23.8 LMH and high water recovery ability of 72.4%. In addition, we explored a new conductivity measurement method to online analyze water flux of the FO system. This on-line conductivity analysis approach appeared to be an accurate and efficient method for evaluating microgel-based FO desalination performance. Our experimental data revealed that the stimuli-responsive microgel was an efficient draw agent for FO desalination.

KEYWORDS:

Desalination; Dewatering ability; Forward osmosis; Microgels; On-line conductivity; Water flux

PMID:
25549211
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2014.12.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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