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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 1, Number 1, January 2010 , pages 13-37

A computer simulation of ion exchange membrane electrodialysis for concentration of seawater
Yoshinobu Tanaka

    The performance of an electrodialyzer for concentrating seawater is predicted by means of a computer simulation, which includes the following five steps; Step 1 mass transport; Step 2 current density distribution; Step 3 cell voltage; Step 4 NaCl concentration in a concentrated solution and energy consumption; Step 5 limiting current density. The program is developed on the basis of the following assumption; (1) Solution leakage and electric current leakage in an electrodialyzer are negligible. (2) Direct current electric resistance of a membrane includes the electric resistance of a boundary layer formed on the desalting surface of the membrane due to concentration polarization. (3) Frequency distribution of solution velocity ratio in desalting cells is equated by the normal distribution. (4) Current density i at x distant from the inlets of desalting cells is approximated by the quadratic equation. (5) Voltage difference between the electrodes at the entrance of desalting cells is equal to the value at the exits. (6) Limiting current density of an electrodialyzer is defined as average current density applied to an electrodialyzer when current density reaches the limit of an ion exchange membrane at the outlet of a desalting cell in which linear velocity and electrolyte concentration are the least. (7) Concentrated solutions are extracted from concentrating cells to the outside of the process. The validity of the computer simulation model is demonstrated by comparing the computed results with the performance of electrodialyzers operating in salt-manufacturing plants. The model makes it possible to discuss optimum specifications and operating conditions of a practical-scale electrodialyzer.
Key Words
    ion exchange membrane; electrodialysis; seawater concentration; energy consumption; salt production.
Yoshinobu Tanaka; IEM Research, 1-46-3 Kamiya, Ushiku-shi, Ibaraki 300-1216, Japan

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