Design and fabrication of hollow fiber membrane modules

Chun Feng Wan, Tianshi Yang, G. Glenn Lipscomb, Donald J. Stookey, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Membrane technologies are widely used in separation processes because of their compact size, mild operating conditions and ability to conduct separations that may not be technically or economically viable by other technologies. Relative to flat-sheet membranes, hollow fibers possess unique advantages including high membrane area, self-supporting structure and ease of handling. However, they must be assembled as large modules for industrial application. Fluid hydrodynamics within these modules is as important as intrinsic membrane separation properties. Companies have explored myriad design strategies to improve fluid hydrodynamics and mass transfer inside modules as documented in the patent literature. This review summarizes the techniques taught to fabricate high performance hollow fiber bundles. More importantly, designs to (1) promote uniform shell flow, (2) enhance mixing and (3) incorporate internal sweep within modules are discussed to inspire novel designs for next-generation hollow fiber modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Hollow fiber
  • Internal purge
  • Mass transfer
  • Membrane contactor
  • Membrane module
  • Module design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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