Due to the growing demand for potable water, the capacities for wastewater reclamation and saline water desalination have been increasing. More concerns are raised on the poor efficiency of removing certain contaminants by the current water purification technologies. Recent studies demonstrated superior separation performance of the vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) technology for the rejection of trace contaminants such as boron, dye, endocrine-disruptive chemical, and chloro-compound. However, the absence of suitable membranes with excellent wetting resistance and high permeation flux has severely hindered the VMD application as an effective water production process. This work presents a new generation multibore hollow fiber (MBF) membrane with excellent mechanical durability developed for VMD. Its micromorphology was uniquely designed with a tight surface and a fully porous matrix to maximize both high wetting resistance and permeation flux. Credit to the multibore configuration, a 65% improvement was obtained on the antiwetting property. Using a synthetic seawater feed, the new membrane with optimized fabrication condition exhibits a high flux and the salt rejection is consistently greater than 99.99%. In addition, a comparison of 7-bore and 6-bore MBF membranes was performed to investigate the optimum geometry design. The newly designed MBF membrane not only demonstrates its suitability for VMD but also makes VMD come true as an efficient process for water production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry