Recent advances in membrane distillation processes: Membrane development, configuration design and application exploring

Peng Wang, Tai Shung Chung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

674 Scopus citations


Membrane distillation (MD) is a separation process based on the vapor transport across the hydrophobic microporous membrane driven by the vapor pressure gradient across the membrane. This process can be used for various applications such as seawater desalination, wastewater treatment, separation of volatile compounds, concentration of non-volatile compounds and processing of dairy fluids. Comparing with other separation processes, the MD process possesses unique characteristics such as 100% (theoretical) rejection, mild operation conditions, insensitive to feed concentration and stable performance at high contaminant concentrations. Due to high oil prices in recent years, extensive research has been devoted to MD in the areas of membrane materials, module configurations, process applications and hybrid systems. This review aims to summarize the recent advances in MD and provide perspectives for its future R&D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-56
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
StatePublished - Jan 5 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister׳s Office, Singapore under its Competitive Research Program entitled “ Advanced FO Membranes and Membrane Systems for Wastewater Treatment, Water Reuse and Seawater Desalination ” (grant numbers: R-279-000-336-281 and R-279-000-339-281 ). Special thanks are due to Ms. Xin Tian Oon (National University of Singapore) for her valuable suggestions. Dr. Peng Wang also acknowledges the World Future Foundation (WFF) for awarding the Ph.D. Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V.


  • Hybrid processes
  • MD application
  • MD configuration
  • Membrane development
  • Membrane distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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