Experimental Evaluation of a Thermo-Electric Assisted Membrane Distillation Desalination System

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 Chemical Engineering, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


This study is performed to evaluate the feasibility of a direct contact membrane distillation system with a new motive force. A thermos-electric assisted direct contact membrane distillation is designed and fabricated to desalinate a wide range of saline water by PTFE and PVDF membranes. The effective permeation area for this system is considered 12 cm2. The design of experiment is performed for this system based on response surface methodology by Design Expert software. The system is experimentally examined for different operating conditions based on the experimental set to predict its behavior. The results indicate that operating time has no significant effect on permeate flux and specific energy consumption, while, membrane material, feed concentration, and mass flow ratio have the most impact, respectively. Based on the seawater concentration, PTFE and PVDF membranes fluxes are 5.8-16.3 and 50.3-141.1 kg/m2h, respectively. The maximum gained permeate flux and the minimum energy consumption for PVDF membrane are 282.6 kg/m2h and 299 kJ/kg, respectively. For all operating conditions, salt rejections for PTFE and PVDF membrane are higher than 88.1 % and 99.6 %, respectively. This specific energy consumption is gained on maximum flux and is suitable compared to other similar desalination methods.


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