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Membrane Water Treatment
  Volume 11, Number 5, September 2020 , pages 363-374

Water cost analysis of different membrane distillation process configurations for brackish water desalination
Jehad M Saleh, Emad M. Ali, Jamel A Orfi and Abdullah M Najib

    Membrane distillation (MD) is a process used for water desalination. However, its commercialization is still hindered by its increased specific cost of production. In this work, several process configurations comprising Direct Contact and Permeate Gap distillation membrane units (PGMD/DCMD) were investigated to maximize the production rate and consequently reduce the specific water cost. The analysis was based on a cost model and an experimentally validated MD model. It was revealed that the best achievable water cost was approximately 5.1 $/m3 with a production rate of 8000 m3/y. This cost can be further decreased to approximately 2 $/m3 only if the heating and cooling energies are free of cost. Therefore, it is necessary to decrease the MD capital investment to produce pure water at economical prices.
Key Words
    water desalination; cost analysis; membrane distillation; cascade configurations
Jehad M Saleh, Emad M. Ali; Chemical Engineering Department, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Jamel A Orfi and Abdullah M Najib: Mechanical Engineering department, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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