Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Second Advisor

Boris Khusid

Third Advisor

Xianqin Wang


Membrane Distillation (MD) is a thermally-driven separation process. In this research, desalination of 1 % NaCl solution is achieved by one type of MD namely, Air Gap Membrane Distillation (AGMD). The characteristics of AGMD are evaluated by using a hollow-fiber-set-based compact device. Hot brine solution and cold water are passed through two different fiber sets separately: porous hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride hollow fibers of the E type (PVDF E) and solid polypropylene (PP) hollow fibers. Vapor from the hot brine crosses the membrane pores of the PVDF fibers and the air gap, and finally condenses over the surface of solid hollow fibers. By connecting two or three AGMD modules differently, six different experimental setups are evaluated. Based on the relationship of brine-in temperature, cold water flow rate, water vapor flux and thermal efficiency, the performances of each condition are investigated and evaluated. Enhanced water vapor productivity and thermal efficiency are achieved in small laboratory devices.



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