An emerging hybrid multi-effect adsorption desalination system

Muhammad Wakil Shahzad, Kyaw Thu, Bidyut Baran Saha, Kim Choon Ng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This paper presents an advanced desalination cycle called “MEDAD” desalination which is a hybrid of the traditional multi-effect distillation (MED) and the adsorption cycle (AD). The combined cycles break the operating regime of conventional MED system and allow some stages to operate below ambient temperature, as low as 5°C in contrast to the conventional MED: The MED AD cycle results in a quantum increase of distillate production at the same top-brine condition. Being lower than the ambient temperature for the bottom stages of hybrid, ambient energy can now be scavenged by the MED processes whilst the AD cycle is powered by low temperature waste heat from exhaust or renewable sources. In this paper, we present the experiments of a 3-stage MED and MED AD plants that were fabricated and installed in the air-conditioning laboratory of the National University of Singapore. These plants have been tested at assorted heat source temperatures ranging from 15°C to 70°C. All system states are monitored including the stages temperature and distillate production. It is observed that the synergetic matching of MED AD cycle led to a quantum increase in distillate production, up to 2.5 to 3 folds vis-a-vis to a conventional MED of the same rating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore (grant WBS no. R-265-000-399-281 and R-265-000-466-281) and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) (Project no. 7000000411) for financial support for MED plant at the National University of Singapore.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Novel Carbon Resource Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Adsorption desalination (AD)
  • Hybrid cycles
  • MEDAD cycle
  • Multi-effect distillation (MED)
  • Thermal desalination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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