Condensation studies in membrane evaporation and sweeping gas membrane distillation

Shuaifei Zhao*, Paul H M Feron, Zongli Xie, Jianhua Zhang, Manh Hoang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Vapor transfer is an important phenomenon in various thermally driven membrane processes such as membrane distillation (MD), membrane evaporation and membrane condensation. In this study, we explore the mass transfer phenomena in sweeping gas membrane distillation (SGMD) by systematically investigating the effects of operational parameters on the process performance. It is found that mass transfer in SGMD is principally determined by both the evaporation temperature and the sweeping gas flow rate, and is significantly influenced by the operational parameters (i.e. fluid velocities) through multiple effects, including the boundary layer effect on both sides of the membrane, and the temperature polarization effect. We also prove that at low gas flow rates (i.e. insufficient gas vapor-holding capacity) the sweeping gas becomes saturated and water vapor forms droplets due to condensation on the gas side of the membrane. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the interesting mass transfer phenomena in terms of vapor condensation and droplet re-evaporation in SGMD, which are of great significance for the heat and mass transfer in many thermally driven membrane processes using stripping gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Mass and heat transfer
  • Membrane distillation
  • Sweeping gas membrane distillation
  • Vapor transfer

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