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Open AccessArticle

Fluid–Structure Interaction and Flow Redistribution in Membrane-Bounded Channels

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Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, viale delle Scienze Ed. 6, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L3 5TR, UK
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Associated Laboratory for Green Chemistry—Clean Technologies and Processes (LAQV), REQUIMTE, Chemistry Department, FCT, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(22), 4259; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12224259
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blue Energy)
The hydrodynamics of electrodialysis and reverse electrodialysis is commonly studied by neglecting membrane deformation caused by transmembrane pressure (TMP). However, large frictional pressure drops and differences in fluid velocity or physical properties in adjacent channels may lead to significant TMP values. In previous works, we conducted one-way coupled structural-CFD simulations at the scale of one periodic unit of a profiled membrane/channel assembly and computed its deformation and frictional characteristics as functions of TMP. In this work, a novel fluid–structure interaction model is presented, which predicts, at the channel pair scale, the changes in flow distribution associated with membrane deformations. The continuity and Darcy equations are solved in two adjacent channels by treating them as porous media and using the previous CFD results to express their hydraulic permeability as a function of the local TMP. Results are presented for square stacks of 0.6-m sides in cross and counter flow at superficial velocities of 1 to 10 cm/s. At low velocities, the corresponding low TMP does not significantly affect the flow distribution. As the velocity increases, the larger membrane deformation causes significant fluid redistribution. In the cross flow, the departure of the local superficial velocity from a mean value of 10 cm/s ranges between −27% and +39%. View Full-Text
Keywords: electromembrane process; ion exchange membrane; profiled membrane; computational fluid dynamics; membrane deformation; flow maldistribution; numerical model; fluid structure interaction; Darcy flow; hydraulic permeability electromembrane process; ion exchange membrane; profiled membrane; computational fluid dynamics; membrane deformation; flow maldistribution; numerical model; fluid structure interaction; Darcy flow; hydraulic permeability
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Battaglia, G.; Gurreri, L.; Cipollina, A.; Pirrotta, A.; Velizarov, S.; Ciofalo, M.; Micale, G. Fluid–Structure Interaction and Flow Redistribution in Membrane-Bounded Channels. Energies 2019, 12, 4259.

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