The studies on the resistance to degradation of capillary polypropylene membranes assembled in a membrane crystallizer were performed. The supersaturation state of salt was achieved by evaporation of water from the NaCl saturated solutions using membrane distillation process. A high feed temperature (363 K) was used in order to enhance the degradation effects and to shorten the test times. Salt crystallization was carried out by the application of batch or fluidized bed crystallizer. A significant membrane scaling was observed regardless of the method of realized crystallization. The SEM-EDS, DSC, and FTIR methods were used for investigations of polypropylene degradation. The salt crystallization onto the membrane surface accelerated polypropylene degradation. Due to a polymer degradation, the presence of carbonyl groups on the membranes’ surface was identified. Besides the changes in the chemical structure a significant mechanical damage of the membranes, mainly caused by the internal scaling, was also found. As a result, the membranes were severely damaged after 150 h of process operation. A high level of salt rejection was maintained despite damage to the external membrane surface.
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