Developments in Innovative Membrane Desalination Processes

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Processing and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021) | Viewed by 11117

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Interests: innovative desalination processes; membrane fouling; renewable energy; desalination economics
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E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Interests: membrane separation; thermal desalination and brine management; membrane fouling and mitigation; special purpose membranes and materials

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Interests: process scale-up; process hybridization; numerical modeling; innovative desalination

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The exacerbating lack of freshwater resources caused by climate change, population growth, and economic progress has imposed hardship on global water production, leading to a rapid development of desalination technologies capable of producing fresh water from poor-quality water (e.g., seawater, saline aquifers, brines). Traditionally, the desalination market has been monopolized by large-scale thermal evaporation (multi-stage flash, MSF and multi-effect distillation, MED) and more recently reverse osmosis (RO) processes. Although producing large quantities of desalted water per annum, these technologies remain energy intensive, using high-grade energy sources, and current efforts are put forth to surpass this limitation through the hybridization and integration of emerging technologies. An essential part of this process lies in the use of renewable and low-grade energy sources to reduce the carbon footprint and emission of greenhouse gases, as well as the development of effective brine disposal strategies to minimize environmental impacts and move towards zero liquid discharge (ZLD).

The aim of this Special Issue is to cover the latest achievements in innovative and energy-efficient desalination processes and materials. Original research and review papers with emphasis on the following topics, but not limited to these, are welcome:

  • Emerging and conventional membrane desalination processes (e.g., RO, MD, MDC, FO, ED/EDR, electroosmosis, pervaporation).
  • Membrane desalination hybrids for better energy utilization and freshwater recovery.
  • Novel membranes/materials for energy-efficient desalination and low (bio)fouling.
  • Novel desalination concepts utilizing renewable and unconventional energy sources.
  • Brine disposal/zero liquid discharge (ZLD).
  • Process economics, energy efficiency, and life cycle assessment (LCA).

Prof. Dr. Noreddine Ghaffour
Dr. Alla Alpatova
Dr. Sofiane Soukane
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • membrane desalination processes
  • emerging/innovative processes
  • hybrid systems
  • energy efficiency
  • renewable energy
  • brine management/reuse
  • new membranes/materials

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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9 pages, 17908 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation on Floating Solar-Driven Membrane Distillation Desalination Modules
by Qingxiu Miao, Yaoling Zhang, Shuo Cong and Fei Guo
Membranes 2021, 11(5), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11050304 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
Membrane distillation (MD) processes need a relatively mild temperature gradient as the driving force for desalination. In the field, it is reasonable to utilize solar energy as the heat source for the feed, and seawater as the infinite cold source for condensation. Solar-driven [...] Read more.
Membrane distillation (MD) processes need a relatively mild temperature gradient as the driving force for desalination. In the field, it is reasonable to utilize solar energy as the heat source for the feed, and seawater as the infinite cold source for condensation. Solar-driven MD provides a route for the practical application of seawater desalination at a small scale. In this work, we focus on floating MD modules with a solar heating bag as the power source, and perform proof-of-principle experiments on the MD performance under various conditioning parameters, including feed flow rate, feed temperature, salinity, air gap, and sea waves. The results indicate that floating solar-driven MD modules are feasible in terms of permeate flux and salt rejection ratio, and the upward evaporation MD configuration leads to a better performance in terms of permeate flux. The simulation and experiments also show that the natural sea waves disturb the heating bag and the MD module floating on the surface of seawater, and effectively enhance the feed circulation and transport in the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in Innovative Membrane Desalination Processes)
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16 pages, 4158 KiB  
Article
Hole-Type Spacers for More Stable Shale Gas-Produced Water Treatment by Forward Osmosis
by Jawad AlQattan, Youngjin Kim, Sarah Kerdi, Adnan Qamar and Noreddine Ghaffour
Membranes 2021, 11(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11010034 - 3 Jan 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
An appropriate spacer design helps in minimizing membrane fouling which remains the major obstacle in forward osmosis (FO) systems. In the present study, the performance of a hole-type spacer (having holes at the filament intersections) was evaluated in a FO system and compared [...] Read more.
An appropriate spacer design helps in minimizing membrane fouling which remains the major obstacle in forward osmosis (FO) systems. In the present study, the performance of a hole-type spacer (having holes at the filament intersections) was evaluated in a FO system and compared to a standard spacer design (without holes). The hole-type spacer exhibited slightly higher water flux and reverse solute flux (RSF) when Milli-Q water was used as feed solution and varied sodium chloride concentrations as draw solution. During shale gas produced water treatment, a severe flux decline was observed for both spacer designs due to the formation of barium sulfate scaling. SEM imaging revealed that the high shear force induced by the creation of holes led to the formation of scales on the entire membrane surface, causing a slightly higher flux decline than the standard spacer. Simultaneously, the presence of holes aided to mitigate the accumulation of foulants on spacer surface, resulting in no increase in pressure drop. Furthermore, a full cleaning efficiency was achieved by hole-type spacer attributed to the micro-jets effect induced by the holes, which aided to destroy the foulants and then sweep them away from the membrane surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in Innovative Membrane Desalination Processes)
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Review

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28 pages, 4556 KiB  
Review
Comparative Analysis of Conventional and Emerging Technologies for Seawater Desalination: Northern Chile as A Case Study
by Aldo Saavedra, Hugo Valdés, Andrea Mahn and Orlando Acosta
Membranes 2021, 11(3), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11030180 - 5 Mar 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4728
Abstract
The aim of this work was to study different desalination technologies as alternatives to conventional reverse osmosis (RO) through a systematic literature review. An expert panel evaluated thermal and membrane processes considering their possible implementation at a pilot plant scale (100 m3 [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to study different desalination technologies as alternatives to conventional reverse osmosis (RO) through a systematic literature review. An expert panel evaluated thermal and membrane processes considering their possible implementation at a pilot plant scale (100 m3/d of purified water) starting from seawater at 20 °C with an average salinity of 34,000 ppm. The desalination plant would be located in the Atacama Region (Chile), where the high solar radiation level justifies an off-grid installation using photovoltaic panels. We classified the collected information about conventional and emerging technologies for seawater desalination, and then an expert panel evaluated these technologies considering five categories: (1) technical characteristics, (2) scale-up potential, (3) temperature effect, (4) electrical supply options, and (5) economic viability. Further, the potential inclusion of graphene oxide and aquaporin-based biomimetic membranes in the desalinization processes was analyzed. The comparative analysis lets us conclude that nanomembranes represent a technically and economically competitive alternative versus RO membranes. Therefore, a profitable desalination process should consider nanomembranes, use of an energy recovery system, and mixed energy supply (non-conventional renewable energy + electrical network). This document presents an up-to-date overview of the impact of emerging technologies on desalinated quality water, process costs, productivity, renewable energy use, and separation efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developments in Innovative Membrane Desalination Processes)
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