Membrane distillation for seawater desalination applications in Vietnam: potential and challenges

This paper provides a comprehensive review of the seawater MD desalination process. The fundamentals of the MD process including configurations, membrane modules, membrane properties, and heat and mass transfer mechanisms together with approaches to enhancing heat and mass transfer are first systematically reviewed and analyzed. | Vietnam Journal of Science and Technology 55 (6) (2017) 659-682 DOI: MEMBRANE DISTILLATION FOR SEAWATER DESALINATION APPLICATIONS IN VIETNAM: POTENTIAL AND CHALLENGES Duong Cong Hung1, *, Phan Duc Nhan2, Nguyen Van Tinh2, Pham Manh Thao2, Nguyen Cong Nguyen3 1 2 Strategic Water Infrastructure Laboratory, School of Civil Mining and Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia Le Quy Don Technical University, 236 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Ha Noi, Viet Nam 3 Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Dalat University, Viet Nam * Email: hungduongcong@ Received: 20 September 2017; Accepted for publication: 24 October 2017 Abstract. Desalination of seawater and brackish water can be a practical approach to augmenting fresh water resources and hence mitigating the fresh water scarcity in Vietnam. Current seawater desalination plants utilize either thermal distillation or pressure-driven membrane separation technologies. Membrane distillation (MD) is a hybrid process, in which thermal distillation is combined with membrane separation. The MD process inherits notable attributes from both thermal distillation and membrane separation, including super quality distillate, low susceptibility to the feed osmotic pressure, negligible feed water pre-treatment, low investment and operational costs, and process modularization. Thus, MD has emerged as a promising technology platform for small-scale seawater desalination applications. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the seawater MD desalination process. The fundamentals of the MD process including configurations, membrane modules, membrane properties, and heat and mass transfer mechanisms together with approaches to enhancing heat and mass transfer are first systematically reviewed and analyzed. Then, the potential and challenges (. most notably membrane wetting and fouling and energy consumption) of the seawater MD .

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