Membrane distillation (MD) is an attractive technology for desalination, mainly because its performance that is almost independent of feed solute concentration as opposed to the reverse osmosis process. However, its widespread application is still limited by the low water flux, low wetting resistance and high scaling vulnerability. This study focuses on addressing those limitations by developing a novel corrugated polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) membrane via an improved imprinting technique for MD. Corrugations on the membrane surface are designed to offer an effective surface area and at the same time act as a turbulence promoter to induce hydrodynamic by reducing temperature polarization. Results show that imprinting of spacer could help to induce surface corrugation. Pore defect could be minimized by employing a dual layer membrane. In short term run experiment, the corrugated membrane shows a flux of 23.1 Lm-2h-1 and a salt rejection of > 99%, higher than the referenced flat membrane (flux of 18.0 Lm-2h_asuf and similar rejection). The flux advantage can be ascribed by the larger effective surface area of the membrane coupled with larger pore size. The flux advantage could be maintained in the long-term operation of 50 h at a value of 8.6 Lm-2h-1. However, the flux performance slightly deteriorates over time mainly due to wetting and scaling. An attempt to overcome this limitation should be a focus of the future study, especially by exploring the role of cross-flow velocity in combination with the corrugated surface in inducing local mixing and enhancing system performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics