Dialysis centers need to reduce water consumption while continuing to provide life-critical treatment for dialysis patients. The solution is to add an Aquaporin Inside® Forward Osmosis module to existing in-center dialysis machines. The resulting green solution will meet the sustainability requirements demanded by hospitals, governments and the public – and requirements for continued patient care.
Today, each hemodialysis treatment requires around 120 liters of water, making it by far the highest water-consuming treatment in the healthcare system. Healthcare providers, hospitals and the public are calling for a reduction in water use, especially in water-scarce regions. Our Aquaporin Inside® Forward Osmosis modules have been proven to reduce water use in a number of industries and technologies. By adding them to existing machines, you can increase water reuse by over 70%, and so reduce overall water use by around 60 liters per treatment.
The benefits of using Aquaporin Inside® FO modules in dialysis treatment:
- >70% spent dialysate fluid reuse, reducing overall water use and waste disposal by more than 70%
- Less heat and energy required needed to heat the dialysate fluid
- Less space and cost needed for treating the reduced reverse osmosis water
- Less space and cost needed for treating spent dialysate fluid
What is forward osmosis?
Like reverse osmosis (RO), forward osmosis (FO) uses a semi-permeable membrane to separate water from contaminants. Unlike RO, which uses hydraulic pressure to force the water across the membrane, FO uses osmotic pressure to naturally ‘draw’ water across the membrane. This osmotic pressure is created by placing a ‘draw solution’ of a high concentration on one side of the membrane. When a liquid containing contaminants (known as a feed solution) is introduced to the FO system, clean water is drawn from the feed solution across the membrane, leaving the contaminants behind. The draw solution becomes diluted and feed solution becomes concentrated.
The draw solution can consist of a simple salt/water mix or a substance specifically tailored for the application, for example concentrated dialysate.
How does FO work within dialysis treatment?
The below graphic shows how the dialysis work today compared with how it works when adding an Aquaporin Inside® FO module to existing dialysis machines.
In conventional hemodialysis machines, the concentrated dialysate and sodium bicarbonate are diluted with water that has been treated using RO. These then enter the dialyzer and the treatment cycle. The spent dialysate fluid, containing all the waste compounds from the patient, is sent directly to the drain.
In the Aquaporin Inside® FO solution, the water from the spent dialysate fluid is separated from the contaminants and reused to dilute the concentrated dialysate.
The Aquaporin Inside® FO module contains hollow fiber water treatment membranes. On the outside of these membranes is the concentrated dialysate. When the spent dialysate fluid passes through the hollow fibers, osmotic pressure draws the water out of the spent dialysate fluid and across the membranes. All contaminants are left behind. The clean water dilutes the concentrated dialysate, which is then sent to the dialyzer. This ensures efficient re-use of water within the system, significantly reducing the amount of water sent to the drain.
The Aquaporin Inside® FO module’s exceptionally high rejection capabilities ensure all contaminants are rejected. Only pure water is used to dilute the concentrated dialysate; all waste compounds are rejected with the spent dialysate concentrate.
Find out more
If you’d like to know more about how Aquaporin Inside® Forward Osmosis membranes could futureproof your dialysis machines, please sign up for a meeting with Esben Gad, Vice President of Business Development at Aquaporin by clicking here.