Special Issue "State-of-the-art Membrane-based Desalination"

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Applications in Water Treatment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Alicia Kyoungjin An

School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: membrane distillation; membrane technologies; membrane fabrication; pre-treatment in SWRO; membrane-based emerging pollutant removal

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a rapid increase in desalination using semi-permeable seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) membranes. Due to the changing climate patterns, soaring population growth, and limited availability of fresh water supplies, the world is looking to the ocean for producing fresh water using technologies with lower specific energy consumption (kWh/m3) and cost. We expect membrane-based desalination will become dominant over the next decade not only in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Asia, the US, and Latin America, doubling the global desalination capacity by 2030.

In this Special Issue, our goal is to disseminate the accumulated know-how on the up-to-date, state-of-the-art technologies in seawater desalination practice. In particular, we wish to put emphasis on the following aspects:

(1) One of the key factors that contributed to the lower cost of seawater desalination is the advancement of SWRO membranes. The advancement of SWRO technology for high-productivity membrane elements designed with features to yield more fresh water while lowering specific energy and GHG emission and combating fouling, given the increase in transmembrane pressure (TMP) needed to maintain constant RO flux during the operational/cleaning cycle;

(2) Identifying future opportunities in hybrid SWRO technologies such as renewable energy-driven SWRO, membrane distillation, forward osmosis, pressure-retarded osmosis, and reverse electrodialysis.

For this Special Issue of Membranes—“State-of-the-art Membrane-based Desalination,”—we encourage you to submit manuscripts discussing how membrane development, energy consumption, and emerging membrane integration will advance membrane-based desalination to meet future demands.

Dr. Alicia Kyoungjin An
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 1000 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

  • low fouling membranes
  • nanocomposite membranes with higher permeability
  • renewable energy-driven SWRO
  • emerging membranes: membrane distillation, forward osmosis, pressure retarded osmosis, and reverse electrodialysis
  • reducing specific energy consumption and GHG emissions

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Performance Comparison between Polyvinylidene Fluoride and Polytetrafluoroethylene Hollow Fiber Membranes for Direct Contact Membrane Distillation
Received: 17 March 2019 / Revised: 7 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Increasing water demand coupled with projected climate change puts the Southwestern United States at the highest risk of water sustainability by 2050. Membrane distillation offers a unique opportunity to utilize the substantial, but largely untapped geothermal brackish groundwater for desalination to lessen the [...] Read more.
Increasing water demand coupled with projected climate change puts the Southwestern United States at the highest risk of water sustainability by 2050. Membrane distillation offers a unique opportunity to utilize the substantial, but largely untapped geothermal brackish groundwater for desalination to lessen the stress. Two types of hydrophobic, microporous hollow fiber membranes (HFMs), including polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), were evaluated for their effectiveness in direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). Water flux and salt rejection were measured as a function of module packing density and length in lab-scale systems. The PVDF HFMs generally exhibited higher water flux than the PTFE HFMs possibly due to thinner membrane wall and higher porosity. As the packing density or module length increased, water flux declined. The water production rate per module, however, increased due to the larger membrane surface area. A pilot-scale DCMD system was deployed to the 2nd largest geothermally-heated greenhouse in the United States for field testing over a duration of about 22 days. The results demonstrated the robustness of the DCMD system in the face of environmental fluctuation at the facility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-art Membrane-based Desalination)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Hydraulic Pressure on Performance Deterioration of Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) Process
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
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Abstract
Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is a membrane distillation (MD) configuration where feed and distillate directly contact with a hydrophobic membrane. Depending on its operating conditions, the hydraulic pressures of the feed and distillate may be different, leading to adverse effects on the [...] Read more.
Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) is a membrane distillation (MD) configuration where feed and distillate directly contact with a hydrophobic membrane. Depending on its operating conditions, the hydraulic pressures of the feed and distillate may be different, leading to adverse effects on the performance of the DCMD process. Nevertheless, little information is available on how hydraulic pressure affects the efficiency of DCMD. Accordingly, this paper investigates the effect of external hydraulic pressure on the process efficiency of DCMD. Gas permeabilities of MD membranes were measured to analyze the effect of membrane compaction by external pressure. Mass transfer coefficients were calculated using experimental data to quantitatively explain the pressure effect. Experiments were also carried out using a laboratory-scale DCMD set-up. After applying the pressure, the cross-sections and surfaces of the membranes were examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Results showed that the membrane structural parameters such as porosity and thickness were changed under relatively high pressure conditions (>30 kPa), leading to reduction in flux. The mass transfer coefficients were also significantly influenced by the hydraulic pressure. Moreover, local wetting of the membranes were observed even below the liquid entry pressure (LEP), which decreased the rejection of salts. These results suggest that the control of hydraulic pressure is important for efficient operation of DCMD process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-art Membrane-based Desalination)
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