337515 Development of Model Based Visualization Tool for Demonstration of Basic Separation Processes in Unit Operation Laboratory Courses
Unit Operation Laboratory courses are considered a crucial part of chemical engineering syllabus. In these courses the student are able to apply the theory and basic practices they have learned in different chemical engineering core courses such as fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, mass transfer and separation processes, chemical reaction engineering…..etc. Chemical engineering departments are equipped with up to date facilities to support students in gaining knowledge related to the different physical phenomena taking place during the different unit operation experiments with more focus on complicated operations related to separation processes, reaction engineering. Membrane separation is one of the newly developed separation process where separation of components takes place through semi-permeable membrane allowing certain component(s) or phase to pass through and rendering the other from passing through. In addition it can be applied in wide range from microfiltration up to reverse osmosis RO, and on wide scale from simple home tap water filtration up to large scale RO desalination plants.
In this paper we describe the development of visualization tool to demonstrate membrane separation process with practical application to RO membrane for desalination purposes. Due to the complex nature of different phenomena taking place during separation processes over membrane surface, it is very helpful to have such visualization tool that helps to have an improved understanding and insight vision of nature and behavior during such membrane separation process. The model to be utilized by the visualization facility will be based on solution diffusion and hydrodynamic models which are the common models used to describe membrane separation. In this paper water desalination using reverse osmosis RO membranes, one of the most common and extensively used desalination process worldwide, will be modeled and visualized in a 3-D environment utilizing the Immersive Visualization Facility CAVE at Texas A&M University at Qatar. The developed visualization tool will help the students by giving insight vision to what happening on micro-scale on membrane surface and within the membrane itself. In addition the tool can be used to examine wider range of operating conditions that might be behind the capabilities of lab facilities. In addition the tool can be used to check the performance of the laboratory unit, given that the used model has been initially validated, or even to substitute for the lab unit when being not available.