Heat and mass transport resistances in vacuum membrane distillation per drop

Authors

  • Serena Bandini,

    1. Dipt. di Ingegneria Chimica, Mineraria e delle Tecnologie Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Bologna, I-40136 Bologna, Italy
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  • Giulio C. Sarti

    Corresponding author
    1. Dipt. di Ingegneria Chimica, Mineraria e delle Tecnologie Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Bologna, I-40136 Bologna, Italy
    • Dipt. di Ingegneria Chimica, Mineraria e delle Tecnologie Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Bologna, I-40136 Bologna, Italy
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Abstract

Vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) is a separation process based on the use of microporous hydrophobic membranes. The membrane is located between an aqueous phase and a permeate, which is kept under vacuum at pressure values below the equilibrium vapor pressure of the feed. The liquid stream vaporizes at one side of the membrane, and the vapors diffuse through the gas phase inside the membrane pores. The process rate and performance are affected highly by the transport phenomena both in the liquid phase and through the membrane. Heat- and mass-transfer resistance in the liquid phase, as well as mass-transfer resistance through the membrane, play an important role in determining the process performance. Based on VMD experimental data for several binary aqueous mixtures containing volatile organic compounds, a simple criterion to investigate the role of each transport resistance on the separation efficiency is discussed.

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