alexa A framework for better understanding membrane distillation separation process
Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Journal of Membrane Science & Technology

Author(s): MS ElBourawi, Z Ding, R Ma, M Khayet

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Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging technology for separations that are traditionally accomplished by conventional separation processes such as distillation or reverse osmosis. Since its appearance in the late of the 1960s and its development in the early of 1980s with the growth of membrane engineering, MD claims to be a cost effective separation process that can utilize low-grade waste and/or alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal energy. As an attractive separation process, MD has been the subject of worldwide academic studies by many experimentalist and theoreticians. Unfortunately from the commercial stand point, MD has gained only little acceptance and yet to be implemented in industry. The major barriers include MD membrane and module design, membrane pore wetting, low permeate flow rate and flux decay as well as uncertain energetic and economic costs. This study is an attempt to establish a framework for better understanding the MD process and to consider all possible solutions developed so far to overcome its barriers. Unlike the usual trend pursued in review papers, MD studies have been cited in the present manuscript and classified in tables according to their most important contribution in MD development. These tables cover most important aspects of the MD process and are presented in a simple manner for a glance understanding the effects of different factors and operating variables on the productivity of each MD configuration. Among the different MD papers, those involving theoretical models are pointed out. The areas within the MD field that are either usually or rarely studied are highlighted. Some useful technical discussions based on acquired knowledge from experience and information gathered from MD literature are included. In some way, this paper will help new researchers in the field of MD to quickly be updated avoiding repetition of already known studies. In fact, although the effects of some operating parameters are generally agreed upon, still new researches appear with almost the same results.

This article was published in Journal of Membrane Science and referenced in Journal of Membrane Science & Technology

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