Dehumidification is responsible for a large part of the energy consumption in cooling systems in high humidity environments worldwide. Improving efficiency is therefore essential. Liquid desiccants offer a promising solution for dehumidification, as desired levels of humidity removal could be easily regulated. The use of membrane contactors in combination with liquid desiccant is attractive for dehumidification because they prevent direct contact between the humid air and the desiccant, removing both the potential for desiccant carryover to the air and the potential for contamination of the liquid desiccant by dust and other airborne materials, as well as minimizing corrosion. However, the expected additional mass transport barrier of the membrane surface can lower the expected desiccation rate per unit of desiccant surface area. In this context, hollow fiber membranes present an attractive option for membrane liquid desiccant contactors because of their high surface area per unit volume. We demonstrate in this work the performance of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) based triple-bore hollow fiber membranes as liquid desiccant contactors, which are permeable to water vapor but impermeable to liquid water, for dehumidification of hot and humid air.
Xu, Jingli; Singh, Yogesh Balwant; Amy, Gary L.; Ghaffour, NorEddine(Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier BV, 2016-04-09)[Article]
In this study, ten different commercially available PTFE, PP and PVDF membranes were tested in desalination of highly saline water by air gap membrane distillation (AGMD). Process performance was investigated under different operating parameters, such as feed temperatures, feed flow velocities and salt concentrations reaching 120 g/L, and different membrane characteristics, such as membrane material, thickness, pore size and support layer, using a locally designed and fabricatd AGMD module and spacer. Results showed that increasing feed temperature increases permeate flux regardless of the feed concentration. However, feed flow velocity does not significantly affect the flux, especially at low feed temperatures. The PP membrane showed a better performance than the PVDF and PTFE membranes. Permeate flux decreases with the increase of salt concentration of feed solution, especially at higher concentrations above 90 g/L. The existence of membrane support layer led to a slight decrease of permeate flux. Membranes with pore sizes of 0.2 and 0.45 μm gave the best performance. Smaller pore size led to lower flux and larger pore size led to pore wetting due to lower LEP values. The effect of concentration polarization and temperature polarization has also been studied and compared.
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