Effects of Operating Conditions on the Performance of Forward Osmosis with Ultrasound for Seawater Desalination

Bara A.K. Al-Sakaji, Sameer Al-Asheh, Munjed A. Maraqa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effect of using ultrasound on water flux through a forward osmosis membrane when applied for seawater desalination. A synthetically prepared solution simulating seawater with scaling substances and organic foulants was used. The parameters considered include membrane cross-flow velocity, flow configuration (co-current versus counter-current), direction of ultrasound waves relative to the membrane side (active layer versus support layer), and type of draw solution (NaCl versus MgCl2 ). The study revealed that applying a continuous ultrasound frequency of 40 kHz was effective in enhancing water flux, especially when the ultrasound source faces the membrane active layer, irrespective of the used draw solution. The highest water flux enhancement (70.8% with NaCl draw solution and 61.9% with MgCl2 draw solution) occurred at low cross-flow velocity and with the ultrasound waves facing the membrane active layer. It was also observed that the use of ultrasound generally caused an adverse effect on the water flux when the ultrasound source faces the membrane support layer. Moreover, applying the ultrasound at the membrane support layer increased the reverse solute flux. For all tested cases, higher water flux enhancement was observed with NaCl as a draw solution compared to the cases when MgCl2 was used as a draw solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2092
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022


  • concentration polarization
  • forward osmosis
  • scaling
  • seawater
  • ultrasound
  • water flux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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