Cooling water plays an important role in maintaining proper temperatures for many industrial processes. To compensate for water loss and to maintain proper cooling water quality, fresh water must be added to the circulating system. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of forward osmosis using rainwater as the makeup water source for the cooling water. It was determined that the average water flux was 1.75L/(m2·h) at 23°C and decreased gradually to 0.65L/(m2·h) after the draw solution was diluted 4 times. Although the changes in pH had a small direct effect on the water flux, the existence of sodium hydroxide would promote the dissolution of more carbon dioxide into the feed solution and thus inhibit the permeation process. However, the temperature showed a notable effect on the water flux. By increasing the temperature of the draw solution from 3°C to 50°C, the membrane flux increased approximately 10 times. During the extended operation, no decreases in flux were observed as a result of membrane fouling, even when 50mg/L kaolin or 25mg/L sodium alginate was added to the feed solution. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
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