Membrane distillation (MD) is a separation technique used for water desalination, which operates at low feed temperatures and pressures. Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is one of the common MD configurations where both the hot saline feed stream and the cold permeate stream are in direct contact with the two membrane surfaces. An experimental study was performed to investigate the effect of operating conditions such as feed temperature, feed flow rate, permeate temperature, and permeate flow rate on the system output flux. To check the effect of membrane degradation, the MD system was run continuously for 48 hours with raw seawater as feed and the reduction in system flux with time was observed. Results showed that increasing the feed temperature, decreasing the permeate temperature, increasing the feed and permeate flow rate yield an increase in flux. The effects of feed temperature and feed flow rate are the most significant parameters. After 48 hours of system continuous operation flux was reduced by 42.4 % but the quality of permeate (as measured by its TDS) is still very high with salt rejection factor close to 100 %. For the DCMD system under consideration, the GOR values remain between 0.8 and 1.2, for the tested range of operating temperatures.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.