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World’s Largest Osmosis-Based Desalination Technology Unveiled for Energy-Efficient Water Production Features Porifera Technology

San Leandro, CA, December 13, 2019 --( The world’s largest forward and reverse osmosis hybrid facility featuring Porifera technology was revealed in November at the International Forward Osmosis Summit (IFOS) in Yeosu, Jellanam-do, South Korea.

The demonstration plant was a coordinated pilot project made possible by a consortium of industry and academic leaders and support from the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

The plant uses a combination of forward and reverse osmosis technologies to purify recycled industrial water and seawater to produce 1000 cubic meters of clean drinking water per day.

Dr. Ji-Hee Han of the Forward and Reverse Osmosis Hybrid Desalination Research Center (FOHC) said, "This technology can provide drinking water at about 25% lower electricity use compared to the standard seawater desalination process that uses microfiltration and seawater reverse osmosis.”

In this energy-saving system, 2000 cubic meters per day of MF pretreated secondary effluent is first purified through forward osmosis using the chemical energy stored in seawater. In this process, seawater is diluted from 34,000 mg/L to between 10,000 and 13,000 mg/L, depending on operating conditions. The diluted seawater is then treated by SWRO to produce 1000 cubic meters per day of high quality RO permeate. This combined Forward and Reverse Osmosis Hybrid Process uses 25% less energy per cubic meter of permeate (including all pumping & pretreatment) than a standard MF+SWRO system of the same permeate capacity.

The system is currently being operated in this energy-saving mode, but could also be operated to generate approximately 150% more clean water using the same amount of energy as MF+SWRO.

The 1000 cubic meter per day demonstration system was designed based on data from a 100 cubic meter per day hybrid pilot system that has operated for more than 1.5 years without cleaning and without flux decline. Porifera membranes were chosen for the project as the highest efficiency forward osmosis membranes that enabled the system to run under the most stable and economic operating conditions.

“We evaluated many Forward Osmosis technologies. Porifera’s customizable modules attain the target recovery and energy reduction goals we needed for a successful project,” said Dr. Joon Young Choi Technology Director of the project’s engineering contractor, Hyorim Industries.

“We are proud and honored that our membranes were thoroughly researched, tested, and ultimately chosen for this world-class project,” said Porifera CEO and Founder, Olgica Bakajin. “The opportunity to provide our technology to this project is an important step in commercialization of forward osmosis. We are looking forward to working with Hyorim Industries to implement this process around the world.”

About Porifera
Porifera is a San Leandro, California-based company which manufactures proprietary forward osmosis membranes and provides process solutions to a variety of industries. Porifera’s innovative forward osmosis solutions enable industries to efficiently remove water and retain only the most valuable components of their products. This unique technology facilitates the reduction of water waste, improvements to water reuse, and more efficient processing solutions to create better products using less energy. For more information, visit

About Hyorim
Hyorim (CEO, Tae Hoon Nam) is a leading South Korea engineering and construction company with expertise in designing, manufacturing, and constructing water and wastewater systems. Hyorim has successfully completed projects worldwide for Samsung, Hyundai, POSCO and others. For more information, visit
Contact Information
Alyssa May
(510) 999-5142

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