Reverse osmosis (RO) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) hybrid processes: Model-based scenario study

Jihye Kim, Minkyu Park, Shane A. Snyder, Joon Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations


We conducted a scenario study on a promising RO-PRO hybrid system to alleviate water and energy demands. We utilized a previously validated reverse osmosis (RO) process model and modified a model of a pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO) process to properly consider the spatial distribution of concentration and velocity based on a mass balance principle. Using the models, we compared four different RO-PRO hybrid configurations based on the water and energy return rate (WERR). Subsequently, the comparison of the water production rate and energy production rate confirmed the results that RO plays a dominant role to determine the WERR value. Hybrid systems that use seawater as a feed water for RO are more energy price sensitive. That is, a decrease in the RO plant size considerably diminishes the WERR values; however, the PRO plant size plays a minor role to determine the WERR value. Research and available literature on RO-PRO hybrid processes are in a relatively early stage; this study is a preliminary step to evaluate further advances in hybrid systems that can eventually alleviate water and energy demands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013



  • Cost analysis
  • Pressure-retarded osmosis (PRO)
  • RO-PRO hybrid system
  • Reverse osmosis (RO)
  • Water and energy return rate (WERR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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