Osmosis is the movement of solvent across a permselective membrane induced by a solute-concentration gradient. Now in ‘Forward Osmosis’ it is empirically observed that the diffusion of the solute is counter to that of the solvent i.e. there is so-called “reverse salt diffusion”. However it has been recently suggested, in a theoretical paper, that if allowance is made for minor deviations from ideal semi-permeability then operation in an overlooked mode of “breakthrough” osmosis would be possible and importantly it would yield relatively large rates of osmosis. A consequential prediction was that in “breakthrough mode”, Pressure-Retarded Osmosis (PRO) would generate very high power densities exceeding those in the conventional mode by one order of magnitude. The practicality of this suggestion was explored and necessarily questions were then raised regarding the foundation of the Spiegler-Kedem-Katchalsky model.
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