TOKYO─Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) has successfully developed draw solutes , an osmotic pressure material for the forward osmosis membrane method to concentrate and extract components or substances (valuable materials) from aqueous solutions. This material both reduces energy consumption to one-fourth and increases the concentration rate by 2.4-fold compared with conventional concentration methods. Conventional concentration technologies rely on evaporation or application of high pressure, and thus require a huge amount of energy. On the other hand, this newly developed technology uses the principle of osmotic pressure causing spontaneous removal of water from aqueous solutions, thereby achieving energy-saving concentration. After being used for concentration treatment, the newly developed osmotic material can be separated from water and then reused.
This technology can be used in the manufacturing of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, effluent treatment, and recovery of rare metals. It will also enable the reuse of water and the sustainable use of natural resources and reduce the burden on the environment, thus contributing to a recycling society.
Toshiba will present details of this technology online at the 52nd Autumn Meeting of the Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan (September 22-24, 2021, Tsushima Campus, Okayama University).