Performance enhancement and scaling control with gas bubbling in direct contact membrane distillation

Chen, Guizi, Yang, Xing, Wang, Rong and Fane, Anthony G (2012) Performance enhancement and scaling control with gas bubbling in direct contact membrane distillation. Desalination, 308. pp. 47-55. ISSN 0011-9164


This study incorporates gas bubbling into direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) and examines its effect on the MD performance especially at elevated salt concentrations in the feed steam. Process optimization in the bubbling assisted DCMD process was carried out which involved varying operating conditions and module configurations. Also, observations were performed for the scaling status on the membrane surface with operating time in different modules to further understand the role of gas bubbling in affecting the behavior of crystal deposition when the salt concentration has reached super-saturation. Due to intensified local mixing and physical flow disturbance in the liquid boundary layer on the feed side, a higher flux enhancement could be achieved in a bubbling system with either a higher feed operating temperature, lower feed and permeate flow velocities, inclined module orientation, shorter fiber length or lower packing density. It was also found that gas bubbling not only enhanced the permeation flux by average 26% when concentrating feed solution from 18% salt concentration to saturation, but also delayed the occurrence of major flux decline due to crystal deposition when compared to the module with spacers. These results were confirmed by membrane surface autopsy at different operating stages using SEM.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.desal.2012.07.018
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Keywords membrane distillation, high salt concentration, gas bubbling, flux enhancement ratio, scaling
Citations in Scopus 109 - View on Scopus
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