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Environmental Engineering Research 2019;24(2): 347-353. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.253
Analysis of thermal energy efficiency for hollow fiber membranes in direct contact membrane distillation
Youngkyu Park, and Sangho Lee 
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Sangho Lee ,Tel: +82-2-910-4529 , Fax: +82-2-910-4939, Email: sanghlee@kookmin.ac.kr
Received: July 27, 2018;  Accepted: September 4, 2018.
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Although membrane distillation (MD) has great promise for desalination of saline water sources, it is crucial to improve its thermal efficiency to reduce the operating cost. Accordingly, this study intended to examine the thermal energy efficiency of MD modules in a pilot scale system. Two different modules of hollow fiber membranes were compared in direct contact MD mode. One of them was made of polypropylene with the effective membrane area of 2.6 m2 and the other was made of polyvinylidene fluoride with the effective membrane area of 7.6 m2. The influence of operation parameters, including the temperatures of feed and distillate, feed flow rate, and distillate flow rate on the flux, recovery, and performance ratio (PR), was investigated. Results showed that the two MD membranes showed different flux and PR values even under similar conditions. Moreover, both flow rate and temperature difference between feed and distillate significantly affect the PR values. These results suggest that the operating conditions for MD should be determined by considering the module properties.
Keywords: Desalination | Flux | Hollow fiber | Membrane distillation | Pilot scale | Thermal efficiency
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