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On the understanding and feasibility of “Breakthrough” Osmosis

Wu, Jun Jie; Field, Robert W.

On the understanding and feasibility of “Breakthrough” Osmosis Thumbnail


Robert W. Field


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.


Wu, J. J., & Field, R. W. (2019). On the understanding and feasibility of “Breakthrough” Osmosis. Scientific Reports, 9(1), Article 16464.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 11, 2019
Publication Date Nov 11, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 20, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 20, 2019
Journal Scientific Reports
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Article Number 16464


Published Journal Article (1.9 Mb)

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