M. Burhan, M.W. Shahzad, D. Ybyraiymkul, S.J. Oh, N. Ghaffour, K.C. Ng
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, volume 34, pp. 9-15, (2019)
With increase in fresh water demand and lack of fresh water resources, the current water scarcity can only be solved with seawater desalination. However, due to high dependence of current desalination technologies on fossil fuels, especially in GCC countries where the share of thermal desalination systems is dominating, the environmental sustainability is at risk. Despite high operational and maintenance cost, electricity operated membrane based reverse osmosis (RO) system provides simple configuration with less capital cost. Therefore, for future sustainable desalination, more innovative and energy efficient methods have to be sought out which will not only have the low operational cost of the thermal desalination systems but they can also have simple design and fabrication cost of membrane based systems. Vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is a thermal distillation technique that works on the vapor pressure across the hydrophobic membrane. With the introduction of heat recovery scheme within the VMD modules in form of the multi-effect VMD operation, a detailed performance analysis of the VMD system is presented in this study under different operating conditions. The performance of system is investigated on components level with comparison between single effect and multi-effect operation.