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Arsenic Removal by Solar-Driven Membrane Distillation: Modeling and Experimental Investigation with a New Flash Vaporization Module

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A modeling and simulation study was carried out on a new flux-enhancing and solar-driven membrane distillation module for removal of arsenic from contaminated groundwater. The developed new model was validated with rigorous experimental investigations using arsenic-contaminated groundwater. By incorporating flash vaporization dynamics, the model turned out to be substantially different from the existing direct contact membrane distillation models and could successfully predict (with relative error of only 0.042 and a Willmott d-index of 0.997) the performance of such an arsenic removal unit where the existing models exhibited wide variation with experimental findings in the new design. The module with greater than 99% arsenic removal efficiency and greater than 50 L/m2·h flux could be implemented in arsenic-affected villages in Southeast Asian countries with abundant solar energy, and thus could give relief to millions of affected people. These encouraging results will raise scale-up confidence.

Keywords: arsenic; flash vaporization; membrane distillation; model; simulation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: 1* Environment and Membrane Technology Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering 2: Department of Energy and Environment, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta City, Finland-53851

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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