Effect of inorganic and organic compounds on the performance of fractional-submerged membrane distillation-crystallizer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Membrane Science, 2019, 582 pp. 9 - 19
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Elsevier B.V. A novel approach - fractional-submerged membrane distillation crystallizer (F-SMDC) was evaluated for treating brine. F-SMDC is based on creating concentration gradient (CG) and temperature gradient (TG) in a reactor containing submerged hollow-fiber membrane. This enables water and salt recovery to occur simultaneously in a single reactor. The influence of inorganic and organic compounds present in brine solutions on the development and stability of CG/TG in F-SMDC was evaluated in detail in this study. The results of the study showed that properties of inorganic compounds - molecular weight and electronegativity played a significant role in influencing CG/TG in F-SMDC. A high CG ratio (between 1.51 and 1.83 after crystallization) was observed when using feed solutions with inorganic compounds such as KCl, MgSO4, and Na2SO4. However, only low CG ratio (between 0.94 and 1.46) was achieved in the case of feed solutions containing lower molecular weight compounds, NH4Cl and NaCl. The high CG ratio with KCl resulted in the occurrence of salt crystallization at a faster rate (from VCF 2.4 onwards) compared to the predicted theoretical salt saturation point of VCF 3.0. On the other hands, Na2SO4 showed lower flux decline (12.56% flux decline) compared to MgSO4 (55.93% flux decline) This was attributed to lower cation electronegativity of Na+. The presence of CG in F-SMDC by concentrated inorganic compounds also enhanced organic compounds to gravitate downwards to the bottom of the reactor, potentially mitigating organic deposition on the membrane.
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