Study of draw solutes using 2-methylimidazole-based compounds in forward osmosis

Swee Kuan Yen, Farhana Mehnas Haja N., Minglue Su, Kai Yu Wang, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


2-Methylimidazole-based organic compounds have been studied as draw solutes in the forward osmosis (FO) application. The good solubility of these draw solutes allows comparative studies between the neutral and charged compounds to be conducted. The tailor-designed charged draw solutes 3 and 4 exhibit higher water fluxes performance and lower reverse solute fluxes than the neutral draw solutes 1 and 2 based on HTI cellulose triacetate membranes. The solutes 3 and 4 show comparable water fluxes even though the latter has a higher osmotic pressure. The ionic strength of the draw solutions may appear to be a contributing factor to the performance. The solute 4 exhibits lower reverse solute fluxes than solute 3, which is primarily attributed to its larger molecule size. The larger molecular size may be potential in membrane-based solute recovery; however, it may induce more internal concentration polarization (ICP) in current porous membrane. We have also demonstrated the potential application and recycling of the designed draw solutes in the FO-MD integrated process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-Methylimidazole
  • Draw solute
  • Draw solution
  • Forward osmosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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