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Title:
ADVANCEMENTS IN OSMOTICALLY DRIVEN MEMBRANE SYSTEMS INCLUDING LOW PRESSURE CONTROL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/144704
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An example water purification system includes a forward osmosis module, a reverse osmosis module, a pump powered by an electric motor, and a pressure sensor. The forward osmosis module may receive a feed stream and a draw stream, and may produce an intermediate product stream. The intermediate product stream may be pressurised by a pump and provided to the reverse osmosis module. The reverse osmosis module may generate a product stream and return the draw stream to the forward osmosis module. The pressure sensor may monitor the pressure of the intermediate product stream, and the pressure may be used to determine the speed of the electric motor.

Inventors:
BENTON CHARLES (US)
KEITH CHRISTOPHER (US)
LUNDIN CARL (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2014/029227
Publication Date:
September 18, 2014
Filing Date:
March 14, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
PORIFERA INC (US)
International Classes:
B01D61/02; B01D61/12
Foreign References:
US20130001162A12013-01-03
US20120118826A12012-05-17
US20110017666A12011-01-27
US20120132595A12012-05-31
JP2012183492A2012-09-27
KR101144316B12012-05-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP et al. (701 5th Ave. Suite 610, Seattle WA, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus comprising: a forward osmosis module configured to receive a feed stream and a draw stream, the forward osmosis module further configured to produce a reject feed stream and an intermediate stream; a pressure sensor configured to measure a first pressure on a draw side f ihe forward osmosis module; a membrane module configured to receive the intermediate stream, ihe membrane module further configured to produce a product stream with a flow rate based, at least in part, on the first pressure.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising: a hydraulic pump configured, to circulate the intermediate stream, to provide a pressurized intermediate stream at a second pressure,

3, The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising: an energy recovery device, the energy recovery device configured to lower a second pressure to the first pressure of the draw stream; a dosing pump, configured to provide a concentrated draw solution to the dra stream; and a flow meter, coupled, to the dosing pump, configured to measure the flow rate of the product stream, wherein the dosing pump is controlled in part by the flow meter such that an amount of concentrated draw solution provided by the dosing pump is based, at least in part on the flow rate of the product stream.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein, a v lume of the intermediate stream arid the draw stream is fixed.

5, The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein a permeate flow rate through the forward osmosis module is configured to be equal to a permeate How rate through the membrane module.

6, The apparatus of claim 2S further comprising a pump controller coupled to the pressure sensor and the hydraulic pump, wherein the pump controller is configured to compare the first pressure of the intermediate stream to a desired pressure, and is further configured to increase the product flow rate when the pressure of the intermediate stream is above the desired pressure and decrease the product flow rate when the pressure of the intermediate stream is below the desired pressure.

7, The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the pump controller is configured to maintain the first pressure of the intennediate stream within 1 psi of the desired pressure.

8, The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the pomp controller includes a processor configured to execute a proportional integral control algorithm.

9. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprising a conce tration controller coupled to the flow meter and the dosing pump, wherein the concentration coniroller is configured to control a speed of the dosing pump based, at l east in part ,, on the flow rate of the product stream.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the concentration controller is configured to compare a flow rate of the product stream to a desired flow rate and is further configured to add solute using the dosing pump to maintain the desired flow rate.

1 1. The apparatus of claim. 2, wherein the pump is a fixed volume displacement pump.

12. The apparatus of claim 3„ wherein the energy recovery device is a fixed displacement recovery device.

.13, The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising multiple energy recovery devices.

14, The apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising a feed pump configured to pump the feed stream to the forward osmosis raodule,

15, A method, comprising: providing a feed stream to a forward osmosis module; providing a draw stream to the forward osmosis module; concentrating the feed stream arid circulating the draw steam through the forward osmosis module to produce an intermediate stream; monitoring a pressure on a draw side of the forward osmosis module; pumping the intermediate stream to another filter module ; and filtering the intermediate stream with another fitter module to produce the draw stream and product stream at a flow rate based, at least in part, on a first pressure.

1 (>. The method of claim I 5, wherein monitoring the pressure comprises monitoring a pressure of the intermediate stream, the draw stream, a draw- side stream between forward osmosis filters of the forward osmosis module, or combinati on s thereof.

17, The method of claim 15, wherein the another filter module comprises a reverse osmosis module.

18. The method of claim 15, further comprising; monitoring a flow rate of the product stream; providing solute to the draw stream at a dosing rate based, at least in part, on the flow rate of the product stream.

1.9. The method of claim 15, wherein the feed stream is provided to the forward osmosis filter by a feed pump.

20. The method of claim 15, farther comprising: providing the pressure to a processor; pei orming a proportional integral control algorithm using the processor; and modifying the flow rate of the product stream based on the proportional integral control algorithm.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein the flow rate of the product stream is increased when the pressure of the intermediate stream is above a desired pressure and the rate of pumping is decreased when the pressure of the intermediate product stream is below the desired pressure.

22. The method of claim 15, further comprising: providing the intermediate stream and the draw stream to a fixed volume loop.

23. The method of claim 1.8, wherein the dosing rate is increased when the product flow rat is below a desired rate and the dosing rate is decreased or stopped when the flow- rate is above the desired rate.

Description:
ADVANCEMENTS IN OSMOTICALLY DRIVEN MEMBRANE

SYSTEMS INCLUDING LOW PRESSURE- CONTROL

CROSS-REFERENCE

[001 j This application claims the benefit of the earlier filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No, 61/794,537 filed March 15, 2013, which application is incorporated herein by reference, in its entirety, for any purpose.

TECHNICAL FIELD

{002} Examples described, herein relate to separation systems, elements, and methods which may be used for forward osmosis (FO) or reverse osmosis (RO), or generally any separation process.

GOVERNMENT SPONSORSHIP

[083 j This invention was made with Government support, under contract number W 1 1 F-0 -C-0079 awarded by the Department of Defense. The Government has certain rights in this invention.

BACKGROUND

{004} Osmotic-ally driven membrane processes re capable - of treating high fouling solutions in an energy efficient manner by using a chemical energy gradient between two solutions to drive water flux across a membrane. Osmotic pre-treatment processes utilize a draw solution with a high osmotic potential, or osmotic pressure, relative to the feed solution to provide a driving force for water transport across a membrane. As relatively pure water flows across the membrane, it dilutes the draw solution.

[005] In an osmotically driven membrane water purification system, the draw solution must then be re-concentrated, or the draw solute recovered in some way for recycling. Typical systems employ either desalination equipment such as reverse osmosis, distillation, or other salt separation technique, or other methods for draw solute recovery such as thermally switching salts. Typically, these systems are controlled as two separate sub-systems, an osmotic system and a re-concentration system, with a buffer volume between them and two separate pumping systems. The separate pumping systems regulate the fJowrate and pressure of each stream.

[086} The overall rate of production in an osmotic system is dictated by the flow of water across the osmotic membrane, which is determined in large part by the differential of the draw solution osmotic pressure to the feed solution osmotic pressure, in traditional systems, the draw solution concentration is controlled by adding solute to the draw solution with an injection pump and a draw solution buffer tank.

j007j ID ail cases, the draw solution osmotic potential must be higher than the feed to be treated, hi some cases, high feed water concentrations may necessitate draw solution concentrations that are higher than typically treatable to reconcentrate in lower energy desalination technologies, such as reverse osmosis CRD).

[008} The energy recovery pumps generally used in conventional RO systems can also be operated in a different way in order to be utilized for pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) systems. In PRO systems, a high osmotic potential draw solution is diluted by a low osmotic potential feed solution. The osmotic driving force is partially offset by pressurizing the dra solution, but water flux is still in the direction of the draw solution. The excess water in the draw solution is relieved through an energy generating device such as a turbine.

SUMMARY

[009} Examples of apparatuses and methods for purification are disclosed herein. For example, an apparatus may include a forward osmosis module configured, to receive a feed stream, a draw stream, and produce a reject feed stream and an intermediate- stream; a pressure sensor which may measure a first pressure o a draw side of the forward osmosis module; and a membrane module which may receive the intermediate stream and produce a product stream. The apparatus may further include a hydraulic pump which may circulate the intermediate stream and. pressurize it to a second pressure. The apparatus may further include an energy recovery device which may- lower the draw stream from the second pressure to the first pressure; a dosing pump which, may provide a concentrated draw solution to the draw stream; and a flow meter which may measure the flow rate of the produce stream. fOiOJ An example method may include providing a feed stream to a forward osmosis module: providing a draw stream io the forward osmosis module; concentrating the feed stream and circulating the draw stream through the forward osmosis module which may produce an intermediate stream; monitoring a pressure on a draw side of the forward osmosis module; pumping the intermediate siream to another filter module; filtering the intermediate stream with another filter module which may produce the draw stream and a product stream. The method may further include monitoring a flow rate of the product stream and providing solute to the draw stream at a dosing rate that may be based, al least in pari, on the flow rate of the product stream.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGSOH I Figure 1 is a purification system according to an embodiment of the invention.

[012| Figure 2 is a purification system according to another embodiment of the invention.

[013] Figure 3 is an energy recovery device according to an embodiment of the invention,

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

|014J Certain details are set forth ' below to provide a sufficient understanding of embodiments of the invention. However, it will be clear to one skilled in the art thai embodiments of the invention may be practiced without various of these particular details. In some instances, well-known chemical structures, chemical components, molecules, materials, manufacturing components, control systems, electronic components, timing protocols, and software operations have not been shown in detail in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the described embodiments of the invention.

[015J A purification system 100 according to an embodiment of the invention is illustrated as a block diagram in Figure I . in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the embodiments of the invention, a system in steady state is considered,

[016j The purification system includes an array of forward osmosis (FO) membrane elements in a FO module 4, which may include one or more FO membrane elements plumbed in series, parallel or some combination of both. The FO module 4 may have four ports - one port for receipt of a feed stream 3, one port for receipt of a draw stream 17, one port for producing a reject feed stream 5, and. one port for producing an intermediate stream 6. The purification system 100 further includes another membrane module 13, which may e a reverse osmosis (RO) module. The membrane module 13 may include one or more RO membrane elements plumbed in series, parallel or some combination of both. The .membrane module 13 may include three ports - one port, for receipt of a pressurized intermediate stream 12, one port for producing a product stream 15, and one port for producing a draw stream 16,

| A. feed stream 1. may be pressurized by a feed pump 2 forming a low pressure feed stream 3. Generally, any feed stream may be used for which purification is desired, including but not limited to, seavvater or wastewater. Stream 3 may be plumbed into an FO module 4, where the flow rate of the stream may be reduced as pure water transfers across the FO membrane at some FO permeate flow rate to the draw stream 17, The feed solute may be retained in the feed, stream and rejected from the system in a reject feed stream 5, e.g. a waste stream at a flow rate of stream 3 minus the FO permeate flow rate.

| A dra stream 17 may have some osmotic pressure higher than that of the feed solution stream 3 and a hydrostatic pressure near atmospheric and may be plumbed into the array of FO module 4, where the stream ma be increased as pore water transfers across the FO membrane from the feed stream 3 at some FO permeate flow rate. The draw stream exits the element forming an intermediate stream {e.g. an intermediate product stream), where it may be pressurized by a pump 9 (e.g. a hydraulic pump powered by an. electric motor 8), to a hydrostatic pressure greater than the osmotic pressure of the draw in stream 17, forming a pressurized intermediate product stream 12.

) Stream 12 ma then be plumbed into an array of membrane elements in membrane module 13, which may in some examples be an RO module, where the flow rate of the stream may be reduced as pure water transfers across the RO membrane at some RO permeaie flow rate. This RO permeate forms product stream 15 at some RO permeate flow rate, which is the product water of the system. The RO module .13 may also produce a concentrated draw (hat exits the RO module 13, forming pressurized draw stream 16, having a flo rate equal to stream 17. Stream 16 is depressurked across a hydraulic motor 10, also referred to as an energy recovery device, forming draw stream 17, which m be at some pressure e r atmospheric, recycling the draw solution. In some examples, multiple energy recovery devices may be used.

J As the system runs, draw solute may be slowly lost across the FO module 4 and membrane module 13 into the waste stream 5 and product stream 15, respectively. A dosing solution, comprising a concentrated dra solution 18, may be slowly or periodically pumped into the draw loop by a dosing pump 19, which may allow the system to remain in steady state. The solute of the draw solution may be sodium chloride, but other solutes may be used.

j As the draw solution is fixed volume (ignoring the input of the concentrated draw stream 18), the mean FO permeate flow rate and RO permeate flow rate may be equal to one another for the system to remain in steady state within minutes. In conventional systems a draw solution buffer tank (not pictured) is added to intermediate product stream 6, allowing for a variable draw solution volume. This draw solution buffer tank allows the FO permeate flow rate and RO permeate flow rate to fluctuate with respect to one another over time, providing for a simple control scheme. Dosing solution may be added without modifying either permeate flow rate.

} The draw solution buffer tank of convention systems allows for simpler control of the purification system, but has several disadvantages. Note that disadvantages of conventional systems and advantages of examples described, herein are provided by way of example to facilitate understanding. It is to be understood that no t all exarapies may have all, or even any, of the described advantages, and not all example .may solve all, or even any, of the described conventional, system disadvantages. One disadvantage of a conventional buffer tank system may be that the buffer tank significantl increases the weight and volume of the purification system. For example a typical system as illustrated in Fig, 1 may have a volume of approximately twenty gallons, and a buffer tank may have a. volume of approximately one hundred gallons. Due in pan to the large volume, the response time of the conventional system is slow to adapt to changes in feed conditions or required permeate rales. The use of a buffer tank also increases the risk of bio growth. The slo or lack of flow in the buffer tank increases the likelihood of bacteria or other biological material to grow. This bio growth may coriiamiiiaie the rest of the system, and additional fillers or puniication elements may be required to remove the bio growth.

} Examples described herein include use of a pressure control system which may allow for a purification system without a need for, or a reduced need for, a buffer tank. By removing or reducing the volume of the draw solution buffer tank, the draw solution volume may become a fixed constant, or closer to a fixed constant, negating small changes in volume of the FQ module 4, RO module 13, pumps and plumbing components. The resulting FO permeate flow rate and RO permeate flow rate may become hydraulically locked (e.g., equal or in some other fixed relationship) to one another.

} Examples of pressure-controlled systems may have the following advantages over conventional state of the art FO RO systems: A reduced size and weight may result from removing the draw solution buffer tank and reducing the draw volume. Decreased system response time may result from reducing the draw solution volume, allowing the draw solution concentration to be changed more rapidi to adapt to changes in feed conditions or required permeate rates. Decreased risk of bio growth may result from keeping the entire draw solution volume within relatively high velocity plumbing. Precise control of FO draw solution pressure may be possible as a result of removing the exposure of the draw solo lion, to atmospheric pressure, it may also allow ihe pressure differential between the feed and. draw pressure to be precisely controlled resulting in higher flux and lower propensity to fouling. Increased hydraulic efficiency may result from draw solution pressure being conserved as the draw solution is never exposed to atmosphere. These possible advantages may also result m reduced costs of producing and operating the system.

| Generally, examples of water purification systems using pressure control include a pump between the FO module and the later membrane module (e.g. RO module) which pressirrizes the intermediate stream provided from the FO module to a pressurized intermediate stream provided to the membrane module. The amount of pressurixatkm (e.g. the flow rate of the pump) is related to a pressure on a draw side of the FO module (e.g. anywhere on the low pressure side of the draw loop), which includes the draw stream and the intermediate stream. Accordingly, a pressure sensor may be provided to measure pressure of the intermediate stream provided at an output of the FO module* or pressure of the draw stream provided to the FO module, or pressure on a draw side between elements of the FO .module, or combinations thereof. By varying the pump's flow rate in accordance with the draw-side pressure of the FO module, a pressure o an input stream to the later membrane module (e.g. RO module) may be varied, which may vary the permeate flow rate through that later membrane module. In this manner, a flow rate of the product stream provided by the membrane module may be maintained proportional to (e.g. equal to in some examples) a pressure on the draw side of the forward osmosi s module. Accordingly, the permeate flow rates through the FO module and the later membrane module may be kept equal in some examples.

[026) Reference is again made to the system illustrated in Figure I . For the sake of this example embodiment of the invention, a pressure control system is considered with a single fixed displacement high pressure hydraulic pump 9 driven by electric motor 8, and including an integrated fixed displacement hydraulic motor 10 such that the RO product How rate is a direct function of electric motor 8 speed. An example of this pump is Spectra Watermakers, inc. SP Pearson Pump and the Danfoss SWP.E. A high pressure pump with a separate energy device may also be applicable along with an array of any of these devices. In other examples, other pumps may be used, including pumps whose Slow rates are set using other mechanisms than electric motors.

027J The system may include a pressure sensor or transducer 7 may be positioned to measure pressure of stream 6 or alternately or in addition, may be located on stream 17 (not shown), or alternatively or in addition at a location between elements on a draw side of the FO module 4, A How meter 1.4 may additionally in some examples be positioned to measure a flow rate on the RO product steam 15. The flow meter 14 may be replaced with logic that calculates flow in some other way in other examples. When the electric motor 8 is at a constant speed, both the FO permeate flow rate and RO permeate flow rate may be hydraulically locked to a particular value. The hydraulic pressure of the draw solutions in stream 6, 12, 16 and 17 may be determined by the particular permeate flow rates and the osmotic driving forces across the respective modules 4 and J 3

[028 J The RO pressures in streams 12 and 16 may go to whatever pressure i required to overcome the osmotic pressure of the draw solution and produce the explicit RO permeate flow rate. The FO pressures in streams 17 and 6 may go to whatever pressures are required to retard or assist the osmotic pressure differential across the FO membrane array 4 to produce the particular FO permeate flow rate. The FO permeate flow rate may require assistance, for example, by increasing feed hydraulic pressure higher than draw hydraulic pressure; or retardation, for example, by increasing draw hydraulic pressure higher than feed hydraulic pressure, due to changes in the feed and draw osmotic pressure, flow rate, temperature, pH, and/or change in membrane performance properties.

J During steady state, the system control scheme may control the electric motor 8 speed with feedback from the pressure transducer 7. The system may include pump controller (e.g. microcontroller, processor, circuitry, or combinations thereof) that may use a proportional integral derivative (PID) control algorithm or other method to set a flow rate of the pump 9 dynamically to maintain a desired pressure at the pressure transducer 7, This pressure may be predetermined, or calculated in real time to achieve a given pressure differential between the feed and draw hydraulic pressures. If the pressure begins to exceed the desired pressure, it may be an indicator that the system should retard, the FO permeate flow rate and the control algorithm may increase the speed of the electric motor 8, thus increasing the FO permeate flow rate (the flow rate water across the membrane or stream 6 less stream .17) and R.O permeate flow rate .1 . This may alleviate the pressure at the pressure transducer 7, thus removing the retardation of the FO permeate flow rate. If the pressure of the pressure transducer 7 begins to drop below the desired pressure, it may be an indicator that the system ' should assist the FO permeate flow rate, and the control algorithm .may decrease the speed of the electric motor 8, thus decreasing the FO permeate flow rate and O permeate flow- rate. This may return the pressure back to the desired pressure, removing the assistance of the FO permeate flow rate. In some examples the control algorithm may be capable of controlling the low pressure control point at the pressure transducer 7 within 0, 1 psi in some examples, 0,2 psi in some examples, 0.3 psi in some examples, 0.4 psi in some examples, 0.5 psi in some examples, 0.6 psi in some examples, 0.7 psi in some examples, 0.S psi in some examples, 0.9 psi. in some examples, 1.0 psi. in some examples - larger or smaller tolerances may be used in other examples. [0301 While the system is in steady state, solute may be- slowly lost from the draw soiution across the FO module 4 and RO module 13. This may result in the gradual decrease of the RO permeate flow rate which may be monitored b the flow meter 14. To maintain a constant RO permeate flow rate, concentrated draw solution is added from stream 1 by pump .19. The pump 19 may be a closing pump controlled by a concentration controller (not shown). The concentration controller may be implemented using one or more processors, circuitry,, etc. (e.g. a microcontroller). The concentration controller may further be coupled to flow meter measuring a flow rate of the product stream. The concentration controller may control a speed of the dosing pump 1 based on a flow rate of the product stream. For example, the concentration controller may compare a flo w rate of the product stream to a desired flo w rate and may control the dosing pump 1 to add solute to maintain the desired flow rate. Adding solute may increase the pressure at the pressure transducer 7, thus increasing the speed of motor 8 and increasing permeate flow rates, accommodating the influx of dosing solution. Similarly, the concentration controller may control the dosing pump 19 to turn off (or slow down) t reduce a rate of solute addition to maintain a desired flow rate. When pump 19 turns off, the pressure may decrease below the set point and ma decrease the speed of motor 8 and decrease the permeate flow rates. Thus the dosing flow rate and duty cycle may control the permeate flow rates of the system using the permeate flow meter 14 as feedback. The dosing point may be anywhere in the draw system, streams 17, 6, 12, 16. An advantage to being located on the low pressure side as illustrated in Figure 1 , may be reduced costs by reducing the number of high pressure components that may be required.

[031} Table 1 contains example flow rales, hydrostatic pressures, and concentrations of solute for different points in the system illustrated in Figure 1 , The values given in Table I are exemplary and should not be interpreted to limit the embodiments of the invention to the values given. Other values of flow rates, hydrostatic pressures, and concentrations of solute may be possible.

[0321 Table I : Exemplary Values for Water Purification System 100 Feed Reject 15 5.00 0.0 42,000

FO draw reject 1 6 6.25 0.5 44,900

(set point 7) (set point 7)

BO draw feed 1 12 6.25 700.0 44,900

System permeate 115 1.25 0.0 350

(control point 14} (set point 14)

RO draw reject | 16 5.00 685.0 56,125

FO draw feed 1 17 5.00 3.0 56/125

[033} Examples of passively connected draw solute tanks are also described herein.

With the passively connected draw solute tank, the change in pressure of the draw solution loop either draws solute into, or pushes solute out of the loop. Simplification of the controls has the advantages of decreased costs, weight, and ske, and improved stability, performance, and reliability. A block diagram of an example passively connected draw solute tank system 200 according to an embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figure 2. A forward osmosis module 215, or osmotic pre-treatment system, may receive a feed stream 240 rid a draw stream 235, The FO module 215 produces an intermediate product stream 250, which may be pressurized by pump 220 to reverse osmosis module 225. or reeoncentration system. The O module may produce a product stream 230 and return the draw stream 235 to the FO module 215. The draw solute tank 205 may be passively connected to the system by stream 210.

[034} The passive draw solute tank system may operate by balancing the production rate with the draw solution osmotic potential. If the desired production rate of a system is greater than the system is currently producing, the re-concentration system may be accelerated, producing additional water. As this additional water is produced, it may not be met by an increased production through the osmotic pre-treatment system, because the osmotic pressure differential across the osmotic membrane may still be the same. Because of the difference in the mass balance, the volume of the draw solution loop may be decreased. Concentrated draw solute may then be drawn into the draw solution loop from the draw solute tank, increasing the concentration of the draw- solution, and thus increasing the water production through the osmotic pre-treatment. This additional flow may occur until the flow through the osmotic pre-treatment system is equal to the flow through, the re-concentration, system and the system is stabilized. I the desired production rate of a system is less than the system is currently producing, the re-concentration system may be decelerated. With the ce-concemratioti running at a lower speed, less water may be produced. As less water is produced, it may not be met by a decreased production through the osmotic pre-treatmem system, because the osmotic pressure differentia! across the osmotic memb ane may still be the same. Because of the difference in the mass balance, the volume of the draw solution loop may be iiicreased. Draw solute may then be pushed from the draw solution to the draw solute tank, effectively reducing the concentration of the draw solution, and thus may decrease the water production through the osmotic, pre-treatment. This removal of solute from the draw solution loop may occur until the flow through the osmotic pre- treatment system is equal to the flow through the re-concentration system and the system is stabilized. The excess draw solute that was ejected from the system may either be rejected or retained in the draw solute tank and used at a later time when increased draw solute is seeded.

|03S| in processes such as pressure retarded, osmosis (PRO), which may require a water supply to pressurize the stream and generate useful energy from the high pressure water return, conventional energy recovery pumps may be modified to operate in reverse, with the high volume side of the pump being the membrane reject, as opposed to the suppl as is normally done in conventional processes. A PRO pump combines two separate components into a single component. The low volume side of the pump may draw in brine, such as concentrated aqueous sodium chloride or seawater, at low hydraulic pressure, the piston may pressurize the stream, and pump the brine to the PRO membrane elements. In the PRO membrane elements, the brine is diluted, and the volume Increases. This may force the brine out to the high volume side of the pump where the high pressure on the high volume side of the piston serves to pressurize the low volume inlet, as well as generates extra force on the pump shaft. After the energy is recovered from the high pressure high volume stream, the low pressure high volume diluted brine is discharged from the pump. The advantages of the PRO pump may be a more compact design, decreased weight, increased hydraulic and electrical efficiency and simplicity.

j( ) 36| Examples of energy recovery pumps are also described herein. Energy recovery pump 300 according to an embodiment of the invention Is illustrated as a block diagram in Figure 3. The Fixed Recovery Positive Displacement Energy Recovery Pump ma be used to generate power from a PRO system. A brine feed 305 to the system may be fed to the low volume inlet of the pump 310. The pump may pressurize this influent draw stream, arid pump the pressurized stream 345 to the FRO membrane vessels 325. The PRO membrane vessels may also receive - low osmotic pressure stream 330. The low osmotic pressure stream 330 may be fresh water, river water, or wastewater in some examples. The high pressure draw stream return 335 from the PRO membrane vessels 325 is fed to the high volume inlet of the pump 320, and is then discharged at low pressure out of the system as waste 315. The pump shaft 340 is used to drive electrical generating equipment (not shown).

I From the foregoing it. will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the invention.