Membrane Distillation Systems

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375). This special issue belongs to the section "Membrane Processing and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (5 July 2022) | Viewed by 3482

Special Issue Editors

1. Mechanical Engineering Department, King Saud University, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia
2. KA.CARE Energy Research and Innovation Center at Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Interests: desalination; heat and mass transfer; evaporation and condensation; power systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources Development and Agricultural Engineering, School of Environment and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: renewable energy and environmental technologies’ development and implementation, including applications in agriculture and food processing; water processing powered by renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and wind) and other energy sources; development and application of microgrids; development of systems for power supply based on the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) and on biofuels’ deployment for power production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science & Engineering (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
Interests: innovative desalination processes; membrane fouling; renewable energy; desalination economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Desalination of brackish and sea waters has become the main source for supplying potable water in various countries, including Saudi Arabia. The total desalination capacity worldwide is expected to grow significantly during the next few years. However, conventional desalination technologies suffer from major limitations, including their low energy efficiency, low recovery ratio, and the environmental impacts associated with brine discharge. Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging process that has several advantages, including low operating pressures and temperatures which are lower than those used in conventional desalination; it is also not highly affected by high salinity feeds while producing very high permeate quality. Additionally, MD has great potential to be integrated with conventional desalination technologies to increase the overall performance of the coupled system and reduce the amount of discharged brines. Despite these appealing features, the MD industrial commercialization appears to be hindered and limited due to some technical barriers. Examples of these barriers are the process low recovery ratio, the high specific energy consumption, the fouling phenomenon, and the loss of the membrane hydrophobicity character.

This Special Issue will focus on Membrane distillation systems and highlight several aspects of the MD process, including those related to MD systems performance improvement, design, implementation, and operation under various conditions, renewable energy and MD integration, MD industrial commercialization, and MD economics. The Special Issue welcomes both original contributions and reviews related to MD systems and their use, mainly for desalination and water purification but also for other applications including brine treatment, volatile organics removal, and aqueous solutions concentration in food industries.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jamel Orfi
Prof. Dr. Georgios Papadakis
Prof. Dr. Noreddine Ghaffour
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Solar, geothermal, and other renewable energy and MD systems integration
  • Industrial applications of MD
  • Energy efficiency in MD systems
  • Hybridization of MD with other desalination processes
  • Cost analysis in MD
  • Sustainable desalination

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


22 pages, 6411 KiB  
An Improved Modelling Approach for the Comprehensive Study of Direct Contact Membrane Distillation
by Abolfazl Ansari, Saman Kavousi, Fernanda Helfer, Graeme Millar and David V. Thiel
Membranes 2021, 11(5), 308; - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2656
Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) is a promising and feasible technology for water desalination. Most of the models used to simulate DCMD are one-dimensional and/or use a linear function of vapour pressure which relies on experimentally determined parameters. In this study, the model [...] Read more.
Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD) is a promising and feasible technology for water desalination. Most of the models used to simulate DCMD are one-dimensional and/or use a linear function of vapour pressure which relies on experimentally determined parameters. In this study, the model of DCMD using Nusselt correlations was improved by coupling the continuity, momentum, and energy equations to better capture the downstream alteration of flow field properties. A logarithmic function of vapour pressure, which is independent from experiments, was used. This allowed us to analyse DCMD with different membrane properties. The results of our developed model were in good agreement with the DCMD experimental results, with less than 7% deviation. System performance metrics, including water flux, temperature, and concentration polarisation coefficient and thermal efficiency, were analysed by varying inlet feed and permeate temperature, inlet velocity, inlet feed concentration, channel length. In addition, twenty-two commercial membranes were analysed to obtain a real vision on the influence of membrane characteristics on system performance metrics. The results showed that the feed temperature had the most significant effect on water flux and thermal efficiency. The increased feed temperature enhanced the water flux and thermal efficiency; however, it caused more concentration and temperature polarisation. On the other hand, the increased inlet velocity was found to provide increased water flux and reduced temperature and concertation polarisation as well. It was also found that the membrane properties, especially thickness and porosity, can affect the DCMD performance significantly. A two-fold increase of feed temperature increased the water flux and thermal efficiency, 10-fold and 27%, respectively; however, it caused an increase in temperature and concertation polarisation, at 48% and 34%, respectively. By increasing Reynolds number from 80 to 1600, the water flux, CPC, and TPC enhanced by 2.3-fold, 2%, and 21%, respectively. The increased feed concentration from 0 to 250 [g/L] caused a 26% reduction in water flux. To capture the downstream alteration of flow properties, it was shown that the ratio of inlet value to outlet value of system performance metrics decreased significantly throughout the module. Therefore, improvement over the conventional model is undeniable, as the new model can assist in achieving optimal operation conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Membrane Distillation Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop