Characterization of the physical properties of the thermoresponsiveblock-copolymer PAGB2000 and numerical assessment of its potentialities in Forward Osmosis desalination
Forward Osmosis is a promising strategy for desalination processes, however some aspects have to be better characterized to make it competitive with other affirmed technologies. One of these aspects is the selection of the draw agent, i.e., a polymeric solution that has to fulfill different requirements to guarantee both high membrane performances and good regeneration process. Previous studies have identified a thermoresponsive copolymer known as PAGB2000 as potential draw agent. However, in the open literature there is no information on the thermo-physical properties required for a fully characterization of the polymer itself, hence, different experimental campaigns have been conducted to quantify: phase behavior, osmotic pressure, density, dynamic viscosity, thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and isobaric specific heat capacity. These properties were then used in a computational model to simulate the whole desalination process. Recovery ratio, specific electric consumption and specific thermal consumption were compared with the ones obtained in a previous work, showing that a detailed characterization of the thermo-physical properties is required to get accurate and realistic predictions of the system performance.
Keywords: Polymer, Draw agent, Forward osmosis, Desalination.