Abstract

Computational fluid dynamics simulations are conducted to compare the effect of module length in sweeping gas and direct contact membrane distillation systems for seawater desalination processes. In this work, the effect of temperature and concentration on the flux performance and temperature and concentration polarization characteristics are studied. CFD simulations are conducted in a three-dimensional module to characterize the steady-state velocity, temperature, and concentration field in the feed and permeate channel. The Reynolds number for the feed and the permeate stream is set to 500 and 1500, and thus the laminar flow model is adapted for each channel. The membrane properties are fixed in all cases considered. It is revealed that the local variation of the vapor flux, TPC, and CPC varies with module length in SGMD systems. However, the average values along the membrane in both module lengths do not vary much. Remedies for mitigating temperature polarization should be considered for future studies.

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