In this study, a novel forward osmosis (FO) process for the removal of heavy metal ions from wastewater was demonstrated for the first time. The proposed FO process consists of a thin-film composite (TFC) FO membrane made from interfacial polymerization on a macrovoid-free polyimide support and a novel bulky hydroacid complex Na4[Co(C6H4O7)2]·r2H2O (Na-Co-CA) as the draw solute to minimize the reverse solute flux. The removal of six heavy metal solutions, i.e., Na2Cr2O7, Na2HAsO4, Pb(NO3)2, CdCl2, CuSO4, Hg(NO3)2, were successfully demonstrated. Water fluxes around 11L/m2/h (LMH) were harvested with heavy metals rejections of more than 99.5% when employing 1M Na-Co-CA as the draw solution to process 2000ppm(1 ppm=1 mg/L) heavy metal solutions at room temperature. This FO performance outperforms most nanofiltration (NF) processes. In addition, the high rejections were maintained at 99.5% when a more concentrated draw solution (1.5M) or feed solution (5000ppm) was utilized. Furthermore, rejections greater than 99.7% were still achieved with an enhanced water flux of 16.5LMH by operating the FO process at 60°C. The impressive heavy metal rejections and satisfactory water flux under various conditions suggest great potential of the newly developed FO system for the treatment of heavy metal wastewater. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Filtration and Separation
- Materials Science(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry