Performance of asymmetric hollow fibre membranes in membrane distillation under various configurations and vacuum enhancement

Zhang, Jianhua ORCID: 0000-0002-8674-0485, Li, Jun-de ORCID: 0000-0002-8518-8887, Duke, Mikel ORCID: 0000-0002-3383-0006, Xie, Zongli and Gray, Stephen ORCID: 0000-0002-8748-2748 (2010) Performance of asymmetric hollow fibre membranes in membrane distillation under various configurations and vacuum enhancement. Journal of Membrane Science, 362 (1-2). pp. 517-528. ISSN 0376-7388


Hollow fibre membrane distillation (MD) modules have a more compact structure than flat sheet membrane modules, providing potentially greater advantage in commercial applications. In this paper, a high-flux asymmetrically structured hollow fibre MD module was tested under various conditions. The results show that increasing velocity and temperature are positive for flux, and salt rejection was more than 99% over the entire experimental range. The hollow fibre module also showed great variation in flux when altering the hot feed flow from the lumen side to the shell side of the fibre, and this phenomenon was analysed based on the characterisation of the asymmetric structure of the hollow fibre. The largest mass transfer resistance was determined to be in the small pore size skin layer on the outer surface of the membrane, and having the hot feed closest to this surface provided the greatest vapour pressure difference across this high resistance mass transfer layer. The results also show that placing the suction pump on the permeate outlet increased the flux by lowering the pressure within the pore and hence increased the rate of vapour mass diffusion. A maximum flux of 19 L m−2 h−1 was obtained at 85 °C when hot feed was entering the shell side, and the mass transfer coefficient was relatively constant across the entire temperature range when operated at high velocities. These outcomes suggest that asymmetric hollow fibre MD modules should be operated with hot brine feed closest to the high resistant skin layer, and that vacuum enhanced MD further increases vapour transport and flux.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.memsci.2010.07.004
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Historical > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Historical > SEO Classification > 9004 Water and Waste Services
Keywords ResPubID20148, membrane distillation, hollow fibre, ResPubID20148, desalination, direct contact membrane distillation, vacuum enhanced direct
Citations in Scopus 88 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login