Effect of ultrasonic irradiation on membrane fouling and membrane wetting in direct contact membrane distillation process

초음파 조사가 직접 접촉식 막증발 공정의 막오염과 막젖음에 미치는 영향

  • Received : 2016.04.25
  • Accepted : 2016.06.07
  • Published : 2016.06.01


Membrane distillation (MD) is a novel separation process that have drawn attention as an affordable alternative to conventional desalination processes. However, membrane fouling and pore wetting are issues to be addressed prior to widespread application of MD. In this study, the influence of ultrasonic irradiation on fouling and wetting of MD membranes was investigated for better understanding of the MD process. Experiments were carried out using a direct contact membrane distillation apparatus Colloidal silica was used as a model foulants in a synthetic seawater (35,000 mg/L NaCl solution). A vibrator was directed attached to membrane module to generate ultrasonic waves from 25 kHz (the highest energy) to 75 kHz (the lowest energy). Flux and TDS for the distillate water were continuously monitored. Results suggested that ultrasonic irradiation is effective to retard flux decline due to fouling only in the early stage of the MD operation. Moreover, wetting occurred by a long-term application of ultrasonic rradiation at 75 kHz. These results suggest that the conditions for ultrasonic irradiation should be carefully optimized to maximize fouling control and minimize pore wetting.


Direct contact membrane distillation;Fouling control;Ultrasonic waves


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Supported by : Korea Ministry of Environment