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Modeling of air-gap membrane distillation process: a theoretical and experimental study

Alsaadi, A. S and Ghaffour, N and Li, Jun-de and Gray, Stephen R and Francis, Lijo and Maab, H and Amy, G. L (2013) Modeling of air-gap membrane distillation process: a theoretical and experimental study. Journal of Membrane Science, 445. pp. 53-65. ISSN 0376-7388 (print), 1873-3123 (online)

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Abstract

A one dimensional (1-D) air gap membrane distillation (AGMD) model for flat sheet type modules has been developed. This model is based on mathematical equations that describe the heat and mass transfer mechanisms of a single-stage AGMD process. It can simulate AGMD modules in both co-current and counter-current flow regimes. The theoretical model was validated using AGMD experimental data obtained under different operating conditions and parameters. The predicted water vapor flux was compared to the flux measured at five different feed water temperatures, two different feed water salinities, three different air gap widths and two MD membranes with different average pore sizes. This comparison showed that the model flux predictions are strongly correlated with the experimental data, with model predictions being within +10% of the experimentally determined values. The model was then used to study and analyze the parameters that have significant effect on scaling-up the AGMD process such as the effect of increasing the membrane length, and feed and coolant flow rates. The model was also used to analyze the maximum thermal efficiency of the AGMD process by tracing changes in water production rate and the heat input to the process along the membrane length. This was used to understand the gain in both process production and thermal efficiency for different membrane surface areas and the resultant increases in process capital and water unit cost.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: AGMD, modelling, thermal efficiency, co-current and counter-current flow regimes, scale-up, heat transfer, mass transfer, membranes, flux, feed water temperatures, 1-D mathematical model, one dimensional
Subjects: FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2013 04:06
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2015 23:07
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/21962
DOI: 10.1016/j.memsci.2013.05.049
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