Professor Meriem Laleg's research on membrane distillation modeling for desalination published in Desalination

  • They propose a dynamic model for direct contact membrane distillation process.
  • Both transient and steady-state phases are well represented with this model.
  • The model is given by an advection-diffusion equation.
  • The model has been validated with experimental data.

This work proposes a mathematical dynamic model for the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process. The model is based on a 2D Advection-Diffusion Equation (ADE), which describes the heat and mass transfer mechanisms that take place inside the DCMD module. The model studies the behavior of the process in the time-varying and the steady-state phases, contributing to understanding the process performance, especially when it is driven by intermittent energy supply, such as solar energy. The model is experimentally validated in the steady-state phase, where the permeate flux is measured for different feed inlet temperatures and the maximum absolute error recorded is 2.78°C. Moreover, experimental validation includes the time variation phase, where the feed inlet temperature ranges from 30°C to 75°C with 0.1°C increment every 2min. The validation marks relative error to be less than 5%, which leads to a strong correlation between the model predictions and the experiments.