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Innovative process line for wastewater treatment

Our project consists of processes that reduce water usage in both domestic and industrial scale with forward osmosis membrane technology

Photo of Ping Shen
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The average household of four produces 301-575L of wastewater daily, and 30% of which are used for toilet flushing system, and further 33% of which are used for shower and bath. The amount of water used for toilet flushing could be conserved by recycle the second hand shower and bath water into a storage tank for toilet flushing. The waste water produced will be fed into an industrial waste water treatment plant. The conventional membrane reactor will be replaced by our forward osmosis membrane reactor in the waste water treatment plant; this provides cheaper and more efficient solution in processing waste water. Furthermore, all side products and draw solution used in the processes can be sustainably reused for fertilizer irrigation.

Our concept help reduces the water footprint by 30% among domestic waste water, as well as 80% in industrial waste water treatment process with the use of osmosis membrane reactor, a method which achieves high waste water treatment conversion with low energy cost and low operating pressure compare to the conventional membrane unit. Furthermore, the possibility of generating fertilizer from downstream sludge and membrane draw solution provides a reduction of overall waste-product ratio and recycle the majority of generated water onsite. The average household of four produces 301-575 L of waste water daily, by implementing this strategy we would have major water footprint reduction on a global scale.

Our project offers great business potential for global market. The key strength of the system is the low energy consumption and the high reaction efficiency compare to the conventional membrane unit. Our major clients would be industrial waste water treatment plants whom replace the conventional membranes with forward osmosis membranes. Domestic household would also be potential clients where their bathroom could be fitted with waste water storage units for secondary shower water recycling. Our major collaborators would be Fertilizer Companies where the downstream sludge products can be further processed into fertilizer; this is system could be beneficial to local farmland by providing cheaper fertilizer irrigation service with the draw solution used in forward osmosis membrane reactor.

The overall aim of our project is to drive down the water footprint across the world, in both domestic scale and industrial level. Efficient wastewater recycling loop and the most innovative forward osmosis membrane distillation technology will be introduced here for industrial wastewater treatment.

Our objectives are as follows,

  • To develop a domestic scale wastewater recycling stream which reduced 27% of household waste water;
  • To develop an desalination membrane reactor for industrial wastewater treatment with forward osmosis technology;
  • Provide strategy for further usage of the draw solution in forward osmosis reaction and sludge produced in wastewater treatment.


An industrial process line is established in order to reduce both domestic and industrial water footprint, achieve high wastewater treatment conversion with low energy cost as well as reduce the overall waste-product ratio.

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Pingqian Shen, Fozia Parveen

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Photo of Shane Zhao

Thanks for the post Ping! We currently also have a Water and Sanitation challenge that's focused on the question: how might we use market-based approaches to expand water and sanitation solutions among low-income households in India? https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/water-and-sanitation/ideas 
Perhaps you might also like to share this post there as well:)