Research & Innovation

Pilot Study using Forward Osmosis technology on industrial wastewater

Forward Water Technologies


Lambton College is working with Forward Water to lower cost, and find new energy saving treatment methods for industrial wastewater stream processes. Many industrial processes generate wastewater streams with exceptionally high levels of total dissolved salts and minerals. In many cases this waste is disposed of either through deep well injection or using thermal distillation based approaches to minimize volumes. Disposal methods are energy intensive, expensive and create significant amounts of greenhouse gases through heat generation or transportation. What is needed is a new low cost, low energy method of treating these waste streams to minimize or eliminate the need for disposal or evaporative methods.


Forward Osmosis (FO) relies on a spontaneous creation of an osmotic pressure differential for fresh water to flow through a salt-excluding membrane from a feed solution (e.g. wastewater) into a draw solution. Importantly, this natural phenomenon requires no applied pressure (or energy) to operate and as such, the FO process itself contributes negligibly to the overall operational costs. Through this collaboration, it is both Lambton College’s and Forward Waters goal to have their pilot unit test ready, for year round operation.




Carlos Torres, Justin Randall, Jasil Elias

Area: Water & Wastewater

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