Effect of membrane characteristics on mass and heat transfer in the osmotic evaporation process

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The influence of the membrane characteristics on the water flux in the osmotic evaporation process, is evaluated. Due to the favourable hydrodynamic conditions used, concentration polarization was negligible. The effect of the membrane pore diameter, is evaluated, using symmetric membranes with the same characteristics except the pore size. The water vapour transport in the membrane pores is described by the Dusty-gas model (DGM), and the membrane tortuosity value is obtained. For the membranes used (0.10μm≤d p≤0.45μm), operating at ambient temperature and pressure, both Knudsen and molecular diffusion are present. Their relative contribution to the membrane resistance depends on the membrane pore size: molecular diffusion increases and Knudsen diffusion decreases as the pore diameter becomes larger. Higher fluxes are obtained using a composite membrane, which is constituted by a thin active layer held in a support. The relative resistance of the support to mass transfer is determined experimentally. The magnitude of the temperature polarization is small for the studied system. In fact, the maximum driving force reduction due to this phenomena is 10%, for the composite membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2004


  • Concentration polarization
  • Dusty-gas model
  • Hydrophobic membrane
  • Osmotic evaporation
  • Temperature polarizationa


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