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Membranes 2018, 8(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes8010009

Performance and Fouling Study of Asymmetric PVDF Membrane Applied in the Concentration of Organic Fertilizer by Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD)

1
Faculty of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
2
College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, P.O. Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC 8001, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seven Years of Membranes: Feature Paper 2017)
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Abstract

This study proposes using membrane distillation (MD) as an alternative to the conventional multi-stage flushing (MSF) process to concentrate a semi-product of organic fertilizer. By applying a unique asymmetric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, which was specifically designed for MD applications using a nonsolvent thermally induced phase separation (NTIPS) method, the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) performance was investigated in terms of its sustainability in permeation flux, fouling resistance, and anti-wetting properties. It was found that the permeation flux increased with increasing flow rate, while the top-surface facing feed mode was the preferred orientation to achieve 25% higher flux than the bottom-surface facing feed mode. Compared to the commercial polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane, the asymmetric PVDF membrane exhibited excellent anti-fouling and sustainable flux, with less than 8% flux decline in a 15 h continuous operation, i.e., flux decreased slightly and was maintained as high as 74 kg·m−2·h−1 at 70 °C. Meanwhile, the lost flux was easily recovered by clean water rinsing. Overall 2.6 times concentration factor was achieved in 15 h MD operation, with 63.4% water being removed from the fertilizer sample. Further concentration could be achieved to reach the desired industrial standard of 5x concentration factor. View Full-Text
Keywords: direct contact membrane distillation; asymmetric PVDF membrane; concentration of organic fertilizer; anti-fouling direct contact membrane distillation; asymmetric PVDF membrane; concentration of organic fertilizer; anti-fouling
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Liu, Y.; Xiao, T.; Bao, C.; Zhang, J.; Yang, X. Performance and Fouling Study of Asymmetric PVDF Membrane Applied in the Concentration of Organic Fertilizer by Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD). Membranes 2018, 8, 9.

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