Integrated Reverse Osmosis Module (iRO) with Energy Recovery for Desalination

Abstract/Technology Overview

The Integrated Reverse Osmosis module (iRO) is a compact and energy efficient module for small scale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) applications of typically less than 100 m3/day. The patented module design includes an internal energy recovery system (ERS) which can significantly reduce the energy consumption for desalination.  The integration within a single module eliminates the capital cost of a separate ERS, as well as the need for skilled personnel for installation and maintenance of the high pressure piping connections. Additionally, the unique module design enables internal feed flow reversal on the membrane surface which significantly reduces membrane scaling, and extends the operation time and life span of the membrane module. The iRO is designed to be compact, easy to operate with lower energy consumption, and is most suitable for situations with space limitations.

Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The iRO combines the membrane filtration and energy recovery processes in a single module. The input to the module is low pressure seawater, and the output is pure water as well as low pressure brine which can be discharged directly to the sea. The patented module design also enables internal feed flow reversal on the membrane surface to reduce the scalant concentration at one end of the module, which can in turn reduce membrane scaling and improve the membrane filtration performance.

Potential Applications

The technology is capable of providing affordable clean water to many communities and businesses around the world. They include the following: • Provide drinking water to communities, resorts and hotels on islands • Produce industrial waters to mining sites around the coast and offshore oilfields • Supply onboard water for naval and civilian ships • Act as terminal units in decentralised water supply schemes

Customer Benefit

Compared to common RO modules currently used in small scale SWRO applications, the iRO consumes much less energy due to the integrated ERS internally. The “all-in-one” design concept also makes it compact and easy to install, and it is most suited in situations with space constraints and a lack of skilled personnel for installation and maintenance. The built-in internal feed flow reversal significantly reduces membrane scaling and allows the operation time and membrane lifespan to be further extended.

Contact Person

Geraldine Lau


Nanyang Technological University - NTUitive Pte Ltd

Technology Category
  • Filter Membrane/Absorption Material
  • System Integration
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 5

desalination, energy recovery