Alsaadi, Ahmad Salem; Alpatova, Alla; Lee, Jung Gil; Francis, Lijo; Ghaffour, NorEddine(Journal of Membrane Science, Elsevier BV, 2018-05-28)[Article]
The coupling of heat and mass transfer in membrane distillation (MD) process makes enhancing water vapor flux and determining MD membrane mass transfer coefficient (MTC) fairly challenging due to the development of temperature gradient near the membrane surface, referred to as temperature polarization (TP). As a result, the change in feed temperature at the membrane surface will be difficult to measure accurately. In this paper, the effect of TP was decoupled from the membrane MTC by preventing the liquid feed stream from contacting the membrane surface through the use of a novel custom-made vacuum MD (VMD) module design. Results showed that a temperature difference of 10°C between the feed bulk and feed temperatures at the membrane surface/interface is estimated to take place in the typical VMD configuration, while the proposed flashed-feed VMD configuration eliminates TP effect and gives a flux 3.5-fold higher (200kg/m2.hr) under similar operating conditions. Therefore, it can be concluded that heat transfer coefficient is considered to be the main factor controlling resistance of water vapor flux in the typical VMD configuration. The measured MTC of the tested commercial membrane was found to be more accurate and the highest among all reported MTCs in the MD literature (2.44×10−6kg/m2.s.Pa). Additionally, a transmembrane temperature difference of 5°C and 10°C in the novel configuration can produce water vapor fluxes of about 9kg/m2.hr and 40kg/m2.hr, respectively, at a feed temperature of 70°C, which is very attractive for scaling-up the process.
Calo, Victor M.; Iliev, Oleg; Nunes, Suzana Pereira; Printsypar, Galina; Shi, Meixia(Computers & Mathematics with Applications, Elsevier BV, 2018-05-11)[Article]
We present a new module of the software tool PoreChem for 3D simulations of osmotic processes at the cell-element scale. We consider the most general fully coupled model (see e.g., Sagiv and Semiat (2011)) in 3D to evaluate the impact on the membrane performance of both internal and external concentration polarization, which occurs in a cell-element for different operational conditions. The model consists of the Navier–Stokes–Brinkman system to describe the free fluid flow and the flow within the membrane with selective and support layers, a convection–diffusion equation to describe the solute transport, and nonlinear interface conditions to fully couple these equations. First, we briefly describe the mathematical model and discuss the discretization of the continuous model, the iterative solution, and the software implementation. Then, we present the analytical and numerical validation of the simulation tool. Next, we perform and discuss numerical simulations for a case study. The case study concerns the design of a cell element for the forward osmosis experiments. Using the developed software tool we qualitatively and quantitatively investigate the performance of a cell element that we designed for laboratory experiments of forward osmosis, and discuss the differences between the numerical solutions obtained with the full 3D and reduced 2D models. Finally, we demonstrate how the software enables investigating membrane heterogeneities.
A global beach litter assessment is challenged by use of low-efficiency methodologies and incomparable protocols that impede data integration and acquisition at a national scale. The implementation of an objective, reproducible and efficient approach is therefore required. Here we show the application of a remote sensing based methodology using a test beach located on the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coastline. Litter was recorded via image acquisition from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, while an automatic processing of the high volume of imagery was developed through machine learning, employed for debris detection and classification in three categories. Application of the method resulted in an almost 40 times faster beach coverage when compared to a standard visual-census approach. While the machine learning tool faced some challenges in correctly detecting objects of interest, first classification results are promising and motivate efforts to further develop the technique and implement it at much larger scales.
Shahzad, Muhammad Wakil; Burhan, Muhammad; Ang, Li; Ng, Kim Choon(Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Desalination Handbook, Elsevier BV, 2018-05-03)[Book Chapter]
The energy, water, and environment nexus is a crucial factor when considering the future development of desalination plants or industry in water-stressed economies. The new generation of desalination processes or plants has to meet the stringent environment discharge requirements and yet the industry remains highly energy efficient and sustainable when producing good potable water. Water sources, either brackish or seawater, have become more contaminated as feed while the demand for desalination capacities increases around the world. One immediate solution for energy efficiency improvement comes from the hybridization of the proven desalination processes to the newer processes of desalination: For example, the integration of the available heat-driven to adsorption desalination (AD) cycles where significant thermodynamic synergy can be attained when cycles are combined. For these hybrid cycles, a quantum improvement in energy efficiency as well as an increase in water production can be expected. The advent of MED with AD cycles, or simply called the MED-AD cycles, is one such example where seawater desalination can be pursued and operated in cogeneration with the electricity production plants: The hybrid desalination cycles utilize only the low exergy bled-stream at low temperatures, complemented with waste exhaust or renewable solar thermal heat at temperatures between 60°C and 80°C. In this chapter, the authors have reported their pioneered research on aspects of AD and related hybrid MED-AD cycles, both at theoretical models and experimental pilots. Using the cogeneration of electricity and desalination concepts, the authors examine the cost apportionment of fuel cost by the quality or exergy of the working steam for such cogeneration configurations.
This study investigated the performance of an integrated osmotic and microfiltration membrane bioreactor for real sewage employing baffles in the reactor. To study the biofouling development on forward osmosis membranes optical coherence tomography (OCT) technique was employed. On-line monitoring of biofilm growth on a flat sheet cellulose triacetate forward osmosis (CTA-FO) membrane was conducted for 21 days. Further, the process performance was evaluated in terms of water flux, organic and nutrient removal, microbial activity in terms of soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), and floc size. The measured biofouling layer thickness was in the order sodium chloride (NaCl) > ammonium sulfate (SOA) > potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4). Very high organic removal (96.9±0.8 %) and reasonably good nutrient removal efficiency (85.2±1.6 % TN) was achieved. The sludge characteristics and biofouling layer thickness suggest that less EPS and higher floc size were the governing factors for less fouling.
Extending the stability of polymeric membranes in organic solvents is important for applications in chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Thin-film composite membranes with enhanced solvent permeance are proposed, using porphyrin as a building block. Hybrid polyamide films are formed by interfacial polymerization of 5,10,15,20-(tetra-4-aminophenyl)porphyrin/m-phenylene diamine (MPD) mixtures with trimesoyl chloride. Porphyrin is a non-planar molecule, containing a heterocyclic tetrapyrrole unit. Its incorporation into a polyamide film leads to higher free volume than that of a standard polyamide film. Polyamide films derived from porphyrin and MPD amines with a fixed total amine concentration of 1wt% and various porphyrin/MPD ratios were fabricated and characterized. The porphyrin/MPD polyamide film was complexed with Cu(II), due to the binding capacity of porphyrin to metal ions. By coupling scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS), Cu mapping was obtained, revealing the distribution of porphyrin in the interfacial polymerized layer. By using porphyrin as amine-functionalized monomer a membrane with thin selective skin and enhanced solvent transport is obtained, with good dye selectivity in the nanofiltration range. For instance, an ultra-fast hexane permeance, 40-fold increased, was confirmed when using 0.5/0.5 porphyrin/MPD mixtures, instead of only MPD as amine monomer. A rejection of 94.2% Brilliant Blue R (826g/mol) in methanol was measured.
The improvement of feed spacers with optimal geometry remains a key challenge for spiral-wound membrane systems in water treatment due to their impact on the hydrodynamic performance and fouling development. In this work, novel spacer designs are proposed by intrinsically modifying cylindrical filaments through perforations. Three symmetric perforated spacers (1-Hole, 2-Hole, and 3-Hole) were in-house 3D-printed and experimentally evaluated in terms of permeate flux, feed channel pressure drop and membrane fouling. Spacer performance is characterized and compared with standard no perforated (0-Hole) design under constant feed pressure and constant feed flow rate. Perforations in the spacer filaments resulted in significantly lowering the net pressure drop across the spacer filled channel. The 3-Hole spacer was found to have the lowest pressure drop (50% - 61%) compared to 0-Hole spacer for various average flow velocities. Regarding permeate flux production, the 0-Hole spacer produced 5.7 L.m-2.h-1 and 6.6 L.m-2.h-1 steady state flux for constant pressure and constant feed flow rate, respectively. The 1-Hole spacer was found to be the most efficient among the perforated spacers with 75% and 23% increase in permeate production at constant pressure and constant feed flow, respectively. Furthermore, membrane surface of 1-Hole spacer was found to be cleanest in terms of fouling, contributing to maintain higher permeate flux production. Hydrodynamic understanding of these perforated spacers is also quantified by performing Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). The performance enhancement of these perforated spacers is attributed to the formation of micro-jets in the spacer cell that aided in producing enough unsteadiness/turbulence to clean the membrane surface and mitigate fouling phenomena. In the case of 1-Hole spacer, the unsteadiness intensity at the outlet of micro-jets and the shear stress fluctuations created inside the cells are higher than those observed with other perforated spacers, resulting in the cleanest membrane surface.
Summary The energy efficiency in solar steam generation by 2D photothermal materials has approached its limit. In this work, we fabricated 3D cylindrical cup-shaped structures of mixed metal oxide as solar evaporator, and the 3D structure led to a high energy efficiency close to 100% under one-sun illumination due to the capability of the cup wall to recover the diffuse reflectance and thermal radiation heat loss from the 2D cup bottom. Additional heat was gained from the ambient air when the 3D structure was exposed under one-sun illumination, leading to an extremely high steam generation rate of 2.04 kg m−2 h−1. The 3D structure has a high thermal stability and shows great promise in practical applications including domestic wastewater volume reduction and seawater desalination. The results of this work inspire further research efforts to use 3D photothermal structures to break through the energy efficiency limit of 2D photothermal materials.
A novel approach was employed to study removal of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in a baffled osmotic membrane bioreactor-microfiltration (OMBR-MF) hybrid system under oxic–anoxic conditions. The performance of OMBR-MF system was examined employing three different draw solutes (DS), and three model OMPs. The highest forward osmosis (FO) membrane rejection was attained with atenolol (100 %) due to its higher molar mass and positive charge. With inorganic DS caffeine (94-100 %) revealed highest removal followed by atenolol (89-96 %) and atrazine (16-40 %) respectively. All three OMPs exhibited higher removal with organic DS as compared to inorganic DS. Significant anoxic removal was observed for atrazine under very different redox conditions with extended anoxic cycle time. This can be linked with possible development of different microbial consortia responsible for diverse enzymes secretion. Overall, the OMBR-MF process showed effective removal of total organic carbon (98%) and nutrients (phosphate 97% and total nitrogen 85%), respectively.
Liu, Yi Y.; van Dijk, Albert I.J.M.; Miralles, Diego G.; McCabe, Matthew; Evans, Jason P.; de Jeu, Richard A.M.; Gentine, Pierre; Huete, Alfredo; Parinussa, Robert M.; Wang, Lixin; Guan, Kaiyu; Berry, Joe; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia(Remote Sensing of Environment, Elsevier BV, 2018-04-09)[Article]
Unprecedented droughts hit southern Amazonia in 2005 and 2010, causing a sharp increase in tree mortality and carbon loss. To better predict the rainforest's response to future droughts, it is necessary to understand its behavior during past events. Satellite observations provide a practical source of continuous observations of Amazonian forest. Here we used a passive microwave-based vegetation water content record (i.e., vegetation optical depth, VOD), together with multiple hydrometeorological observations as well as conventional satellite vegetation measures, to investigate the rainforest canopy dynamics during the 2005 and 2010 droughts. During the onset of droughts in the wet-to-dry season (May–July) of both years, we found large-scale positive anomalies in VOD, leaf area index (LAI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) over the southern Amazonia. These observations are very likely caused by enhanced canopy growth. Concurrent below-average rainfall and above-average radiation during the wet-to-dry season can be interpreted as an early arrival of normal dry season conditions, leading to enhanced new leaf development and ecosystem photosynthesis, as supported by field observations. Our results suggest that further rainfall deficit into the subsequent dry season caused water and heat stress during the peak of 2005 and 2010 droughts (August–October) that exceeded the tolerance limits of the rainforest, leading to widespread negative VOD anomalies over the southern Amazonia. Significant VOD anomalies were observed mainly over the western part in 2005 and mainly over central and eastern parts in 2010. The total area with significant negative VOD anomalies was comparable between these two drought years, though the average magnitude of significant negative VOD anomalies was greater in 2005. This finding broadly agrees with the field observations indicating that the reduction in biomass carbon uptake was stronger in 2005 than 2010. The enhanced canopy growth preceding drought-induced senescence should be taken into account when interpreting the ecological impacts of Amazonian droughts.
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