How to select the optimal membrane distillation system

The research article 'How to select the optimal membrane distillation system for industrial applications' has been published in Elsevier's Journal of Membrane Science (Volume 565, 1 November 2018, Pages 402-410).


Despite increasing academic interest in membrane distillation systems, industry adoption of the technology remains low. We propose a simple yet comprehensive method for selecting the optimal membrane distillation design for any industrial process. This flexible, system level analysis procedure yields a holistic view of the technology, which could help identify promising industries for commercial MD systems. The method consists of comparing membrane distillation designs on the basis of their total water production cost. Membrane distillation configuration, module type, heat exchange arrangement, operating conditions, and membrane properties all influence the total cost of the system. To illustrate our methodology, we apply the analysis procedure to a case study, optimizing the MD system design for an MD unit coupled to a condenser of a steam power plant. The total water production cost for the optimized system is $2.11 per cubic meter of permeate with current commercial membranes or $1.58/m3 with improved membrane material.

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