Analysis of mass transfer behavior in membrane distillation: Mathematical modeling under various conditions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemosphere, 2019, 236
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 Four commercially available hydrophobic membranes with different pore sizes were separately used in a direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) apparatus to investigate the effect of fouling on the mass transfer coefficient, and the dominant mass transport mode under different conditions defined by the temperature, membrane material, flow regime, and membrane pore size. Both ultrapure deionized water and simulated industrial wastewater were considered as the feed water. The results of the investigation confirmed that the fouling layer impacted the mass transport directly by resisting it, and indirectly by altering the heat transfer mechanism. In addition to the surface fouling layer, a significant number of particles were also observed to accumulate in the membrane pores. It was further determined that the contribution of Poiseuille flow to the entire mass transport was significant at higher temperatures when using a membrane with large pores. This highlighted the need for careful consideration of Poiseuille flow in the modeling and simulation of a membrane distillation (MD) mass transport process. It was also observed that the flow rate did not affect the Poiseuille flow and therefore did not directly impact the entire mass transfer. The study findings provide systematic insight for the development of a strategy for selecting an appropriate operating feed for DCMD and adjusting the permeate temperature to fit the prevailing water demand and environmental conditions.
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