Influence of high range of mass transfer coefficient and convection heat transfer on direct contact membrane distillation performance
J.-G. Lee, S. Jeong, A.S. Alsaadi, N. Ghaffour
Desalination, volume 426, pp. 127-134, (2018)
Desalination, Optimized MTC, MD performance, Mean permeate flux, Specific energy consumption
In order to improve water production of membrane distillation (MD), the development of high performance membrane having better mass transfer and enhancement of convection heat transfer in MD module have been continuously investigated. This paper presents the relationship between the heat and mass transfer resistance across the membrane and the performance improvement. Various ranges of mass transfer coefficient (MTC) from normal (0.3 × 10− 6 to 2.1 × 10− 6 kg/m2sPa: currently available membranes) to high (> 2.1 × 10− 6 kg/m2sPa: membranes under development) were simulated using an experimentally validated model at different ranges of convection heat transfer by varying the inlet flow rates and spacer enhancement factor. The effect of mass transfer and convection heat transfer on the MD performance parameters including temperature polarization coefficient (TPC), mean permeate flux, and specific energy consumption were investigated in a direct contact MD (DCMD) configuration. Results showed that improving the MTC at the low ranges is more important than that at the high ranges where the heat transfer resistance becomes dominant and hence the convection heat transfer coefficient must be increased. Therefore, an effort on designing MD modules using feed and permeate spacers and controlling the membrane surface roughness to increase the convection heat transfer and TPC in the channel aiming to enhance the flux is required because the currently developed mass transfer has almost reached the critical point.
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