We propose a tubular membrane module with embedded three-dimensional structures which is efficient in a wide range of operating conditions (covering both laminar and turbulent flows). Thin plates with barriers are inserted periodically in the circular channel geometry, leading to chaotic advection in a spatially periodic channel flow. Using a numerical scheme combining a particle-tracking and the finite element method, the insert geometry is optimized. The performance of the newly proposed membrane module is assessed by experiments. The membrane module with embedded inserts is found to be better in performance than an ordinary tubular membrane module.

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