Forward Osmosis membranes show 'no flux decline' ahead of CSM deal

CSM membrane manufacturer Woongjin Chemical Co has signed a deal with Silicon Valley start-up Porifera to market its forward osmosis membrane products for desalination through its global sales channels...

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CSM membrane manufacturer Woongjin Chemical Co has signed a deal with Silicon Valley start-up Porifera to market its forward osmosis (FO) membrane products for desalination through its global sales channels.

Porifera said the membranes have been tested with “no flux decline” under the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme.

In addition, Woongjin Chemical is currently participating in the National Research Project in developing Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO). This is funded by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs in Korea using the forward osmosis principles at Woongjin Chemical R&D Center, located in Suwon, Korea.

Forward Osmosis membranes differ to Reverse Osmosis (RO) membranes as they use natural osmosis to filter water, whereas RO require additional energy through the form of pumps (see WWi article).

Woongjin Chemical Filter Division said as well as entering into this “next generation membrane market”, it will continue to focus on membranes in the RO, Nanofiltration, Ultrafiltration and Microfilter space.

Olgica Bakajin, CEO of Porifera, said this is the first major commercial investment into FO by one of the “top tier membrane manufacturers”.

CSM said that opportunities exist for FO membranes in shale gas wastewater treatment, and in the treatment of wastes from the food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors.

Currently UK firm Modern Water is the first company to prove its FO membranes on a commercial scale, with its Al Najdah 200 m3/day project in Oman (see WWi story).

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