Performance of porous inorganic membranes in non-osmotic desalination

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Duke, Mikel ORCID: 0000-0002-3383-0006, Mee, S and Diniz da Costa, J. C (2007) Performance of porous inorganic membranes in non-osmotic desalination. Water Research, 41 (17). pp. 3998-4004. ISSN 0043 1354


The supply security of fresh drinking water is decreasing and raising a critical situation for communities worldwide. Inorganic membranes such as alumina and molecular sieve silica have in the past been shown to be highly effective at separating gases and could offer promise as liquid separators due to their high flux and stability. In this work, we develop a range of inorganic membranes with pore size ranging from 0.3 to 500nm and relate this to separation and transport performance. Best separation results were achieved for the silica membrane pressurised to only 7bar, exhibiting a flux of around 1.8kgm(-2)h(-1) and NaCl rejection of 98% with 3.5wt% (seawater-like) feed. Potable water from seawater-like feed was achieved from the membrane in a single stage after regeneration. Conditions such as pressure and temperature were also modified showing performance characteristics and diffusion mechanisms. The non-osmotic set-up for inorganic membranes is therefore a viable technology for desalination.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2007.05.028
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0399 Other Chemical Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute for Sustainability and Innovation (ISI)
Historical > FOR Classification > 0904 Chemical Engineering
Keywords ResPubID16534, drinking water, alumina, molecular sieve silica, liquid separators, inorganic membranes, desalination
Citations in Scopus 100 - View on Scopus
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