Desalination at ambient temperature and pressure by a novel class of biporous anisotropic membrane

Mohammed Rasool Qtaishat*, Mohammed Obaid, Takeshi Matsuura, Areej Al-Samhouri, Jung Gil Lee, Sofiane Soukane, Noreddine Ghaffour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent scientific advances have made headway in addressing pertinient issues in climate change and the sustainability of our natural environment. This study makes use of a novel approach to desalination that is environment friendly, naturally sustainable and energy efficient, meaning that it is also cost efficient. Evaporation is a key phenomenon in the natural environment and used in many industrial applications including desalination. For a liquid droplet, the vapor pressure changes due to the curved liquid–vapor interface at the droplet surface. The vapor pressure at a convex surface in a pore is, therefore, higher than that at a flat surface due to the capillary effect, and this effect is enhanced as the pore radius decreases. This concept inspired us to design a novel biporous anisotropic membrane for membrane distillation (MD), which enables to desalinate water at ambient temperature and pressure by applying only a small transmembrane temperature gradient. The novel membrane is described as a super-hydrophobic nano-porous/micro-porous composite membrane. A laboratory-made membrane with specifications determined by the theoretical model was prepared for model validation and tested for desalination at different feed inlet temperatures by direct contact MD. A water vapor flux as high as 39.94 ± 8.3 L m−2 h−1 was achieved by the novel membrane at low feed temperature (25 °C, permeate temperature = 20 °C), while the commercial PTFE membrane, which is widely used in MD research, had zero flux under the same operating conditions. As well, the fluxes of the fabricated membrane were much higher than the commercial membrane at various inlet feed temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13564
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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