Porifera leads the charge for FO's breakthrough into osmosis-based seawater desalination

August 27, 2020 | Case Study

Porifera is a developer of forward osmosis (FO) technology. The company was founded in 2008, but it wasn't until 2012 that it found traction for its FO membranes. Having partnered with Toray Chemical Korea and secured several U.S. government grants, the company has completed several small-to-medium-scale projects in seawater desalination, product concentration in food and beverage separations, and some tough-to-treat industrial wastewater zero liquid discharge applications.

Porifera is among the leading FO membrane providers today. Its technology is the culmination of years of research on polymer and carbon nanotube membranes (CNT), which resulted in its next-generation flat-sheet FO membrane module. The company doesn't specialize in draw solutions, a key factor in the success of FO systems; rather, it uses commercially available, often simple salts like concentrated NaCl or thermal draws from companies like Forward Water Technologies and Aquafortus.