Morphological architecture of dual-layer hollow fiber for membrane distillation with higher desalination performance

Peng Wang, May May Teoh, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


A new strategy to enhance the desalination performance of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) hollow fiber membrane for membrane distillation (MD) via architecture of morphological characteristics is explored in this study. It is proposed that a dual-layer hollow fiber consisting of a fully finger-like macrovoid inner-layer and a sponge-like outer-layer may effectively enhance the permeation flux while maintaining the wetting resistance. Dual-layer fibers with the proposed morphology have been fabricated by the dry-jet wet spinning process via careful choice of dopes composition and coagulation conditions. In addition to high energy efficiency (EE) of 94%, a superior flux of 98.6 L m-2 h-1 is obtained during the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) desalination experiments. Moreover, the liquid entry pressure (LEP) and long-term DCMD performance test show high wetting resistance and long-term stability. Mathematical modeling has been conducted to investigate the membrane mass transfer properties in terms of temperature profile and apparent diffusivity of the membranes. It is concluded that the enhancement in permeation flux arises from the coupling effect of two mechanisms; namely, a higher driving force and a lower mass transfer resistance, while the later is the major contribution. This work provides an insight on MD fundamentals and strategy to tailor making ideal membranes for DCMD application in desalination industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5489-5500
Number of pages12
JournalWater research
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Fully sponge-like structure
  • Heat and mass transfer model
  • Liquid entry pressure
  • Membrane distillation
  • Uniform finger-like macrovoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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