Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8585–8593 | Cite as

The application of forward osmosis for simulated surface water treatment by using trisodium citrate as draw solute

  • Shihui Yang
  • Baoyu GaoEmail author
  • Pin Zhao
  • Chen Wang
  • Xue Shen
  • Qinyan Yue
  • Ho kyong Shon
Research Article


In this study, trisodium citrate was used as draw solute in forward osmosis (FO) due to its biodegradability and easy reuse after FO dilution. The effect of operating conditions on FO performance was investigated. The study focused on the long-term flux performance and membrane fouling when surface water was used as feed solution. A water flux of 9.8 LMH was observed using 0.5 M trisodium citrate as draw solution in PRO mode. In the long-term FO process, trisodium citrate showed a slight decrease in total flux loss (13.06%) after 20 h of operation. The membrane fouling was significantly reduced after a two-step physical cleaning. A considerable flux recovery (> 95%) of the fouled membrane was finally obtained. Therefore, this study proves the superiority of trisodium citrate as draw solution and paves a new way in applying FO directly for surface water reclamation.


Forward osmosis Trisodium citrate Surface water Membrane fouling Physical cleaning Flux loss 


Funding information

This work was supported by the Taishan Scholar Program (No. ts201511003).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shihui Yang
    • 1
  • Baoyu Gao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pin Zhao
    • 1
  • Chen Wang
    • 1
  • Xue Shen
    • 1
  • Qinyan Yue
    • 1
  • Ho kyong Shon
    • 2
  1. 1.Shandong Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Technology, Sydney (UTS)UltimoAustralia

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