A new separation unit for FO comprising of 2 separation columns which are filled with a stimulus water-absorbing polymer gel. The gel is thermo-sensitive with lower critical solution temperature. This material absorbs water below critical temperature Thyd and release water being heated over Thyd. In the column, water is absorbed by the gel and the draw solutes are left out of the gel. After separating the gel from the solute, the gel is heated and releases fresh water
- Lower cost comparing to RO method – no need in high pressure pump, energy recovery turbines, high pressure fixtures, etc.
- Comparing to standard forward osmosis the current invention allows higher water quality, no environmental pollution, less draw material losses and lower temperatures are required, which is particularly advantageous if solar heating is employing
Applications and Opportunities
- One of the major challenges of the 21-th century: freshwater shortage in many regions of the Earth
- Decentralized demand – for remote farms, military units etc. favors small ground water desalination facilities