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Forward Osmosis Cells

Forward Osmosis Cells

Sterlitech Forward Osmosis (FO) systems operate like traditional reverse osmosis membrane test cells but require less energy and lower pressure to function, which means better fouling resistance. FO cells are most frequently used for desalination and water and wastewater treatment in a variety of industrial processes. Click on the applications tab for more information on where FO cells are used.

Our FO cells are available as modified versions of the CF042 (Delrin Acetal, PTFE, Stainless Steel, or Acrylic) and the Sepa CF systems. The top and bottom of the FO cells feature the same ports (1/4” NPT) for easy connectivity as part of a bench system.

Membrane/Process Development Resources

SKU Name Price
1230061 Sepa CF II Forward Osmosis Cell, 316 SS

Gear Pump, 115V, with US Plug 1230090 Micropump A Mount Gear Pump with Console Drive, 115 V

Feed tank with lid and bulkhead fittings TMSCUP24 Cup Style Feed Tank, 2.4 Gallon, Stainless Steel, with Lid, and Bulkhead Fittings

138763 Peristaltic Variable Flow Pump

NF1300KT18RC KNF Pump - Remote Controlled, 90 PSI (0.5 - 3.0 LPM)

NF1100KT18S KNF Pump - Standard, 90 PSI (0.2 - 1.3 LPM)

Forward Osmosis Cells 1230062 Sepa CF Upper Section, modified for FO (316 SS)

CF042-FO UP CF042 - Upper Stainless Clamp FO Style (required for Delrin and PTFE style)

Forward Osmosis Cells CF042SS-FOT CF042 Forward Osmosis, Stainless Steel (316), Cell Top

CF042D-FOT Cell Top for CF042-FO (Delrin Acetal), modified for FO, includes inlet and outlet ports

Forward Osmosis Cells CF042P-FOT CF042 Forward Osmosis, Virgin PTFE, Cell Top

CF042A-FOT CF042 Forward Osmosis, Clear Cast Acrylic, Cell Top

CF042A-FO CF042 Forward Osmosis Cell Assembly, Clear Cast Acrylic

Forward Osmosis Cells CF042P-FO CF042 Forward Osmosis Cell Assembly, Virgin PTFE

Forward Osmosis Cells CF042SS-FO CF042 Forward Osmosis Cell Assembly, Stainless Steel

CF042D- FO CF042 Forward Osmosis Cell Assembly, Natural Acrylic Copolymer (Delrin)

Gear Pump, 230 V with Euro Plug 1230091 Micropump A Mount Gear Pump with Console Drive, 230 V

Forward Osmosis technology is most commonly used for an array of wastewater recycling and water reclamation applications. Areas in which an FO cell may be used include:

  • Water reclamation from oil and gas exploration
  • Landfill wastewater
  • Alternative energy/biogas wastewater
  • Medical/dental wastewater
  • Membrane bioreactors
  • Seawater desalination
  • Radioactive wastewater
  • Carpet manufacturing wastewater
  • Pressure Retarded Osmosis (PRO) to generate electricity

Other uses for Forward Osmosis Cells:

  • Pretreatment for Reverse Osmosis procedure
  • Concentrating juices (grape juice to wine, tomato paste)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nutraceuticals
Below is a computer-animated flow diagram of the CF042 FO Cell by Aslak Animations:


Data applicable for SEPA CF Cell:  
Effective Membrane Area 140 cm² (22 in²)
Hold-Up Volume 70 mL (2.4 ounces)
Maximum Pressure (316SS Cell Body) 69 bar (1000 psig)
Maximum Temperature (316SS Cell Body) 177°C (350°F)
O-rings Viton* (Other materials available)
pH Range Membrane Dependent
Cross Flow Velocity Variable - See Table 2.1 in the Sepa Manual
Data applicable for CF042:  
Active Membrane Area 42 cm² (6.5 in2)
Maximum Pressure 69 bar (1000 psig), 27.6 bar (400 psi) for PTFE version
Maximum Temperature 80 °C (180 °F)
Connections Feed: ¼” FNPT (base of cell) ; Concentrate: ¼” FNPT (base of cell) ; Filtrate: 1/8” FNPT
Cell Body Acetal, Acrylic, PTFE, or Stainless Steel
"O" - Ring Buna-N (Viton availble upon request)
Outer Dimensions 12.7 cm x 10 cm x 8.3 cm (5” x 4” x 3¼”) 
Active Area Dimensions 9.207 cm x 4.572 cm (3.625” x 1.800")
Slot depth 0.09” (0.23 cm)
Support Membrane 20 μm sintered stainless steel
Torque Settings for Coupling Delrin: 60 inch-pounds; Acrylic: 70 inch-pounds; PTFE: 15 inch-pounds