470546 Optimizing Design Parameters for Thin Film Composite Hollow Fiber Membranes and Modules for Forward Osmosis

Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 8:30 AM
Golden Gate 3 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Jian Ren and Jeffrey R. McCutcheon, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Hollow fiber membranes have been considered a valuable platform for osmotic membrane processes because of their high packing density relative to flat sheet membranes. This study evaluates an approach to make thin film composite (TFC) hollow fiber membranes for forward osmosis (FO) by simply employing commercial hollow fiber ultrafiltration (UF) membranes as support material. A thin polyamide film with excellent selective properties was synthesized on the inner surface of hollow fibers via interfacial polymerization. Besides demonstrating the feasibility to be used as good TFC FO membrane supports, the commercial hollow fiber UF membranes also provide a systematic platform with consistent properties to study structure-performance relationship of FO hollow fiber membranes. A series of commercial hollow fiber membranes were used to evaluate how molecular weight cutoff (MWCO), fiber dimensions (inner and outer diameter) and module dimensions (length and width) impacted overall performance of the TFC membranes and module. With the availability of reproducible membranes and modules, we have developed a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model with COMSOL Multiphysics in order to optimize hollow fiber module design for FO application. The comparison between the model and experimental results provided insight into both how more accurate models can be developed and how these models can be used to design better modules without costly experimental testing.

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See more of this Session: Membranes for Forward Osmosis and Pressure Retarded Osmosis
See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division