A theoretical model for the transport phenomena in an air gap membrane distillation is presented. The model is based on the conservation equations for the mass, momentum, energy and species within the feed water solution as well as on the mass and energy balances on the membrane sides. The slip flow occurs due to the hydrophobic properties of the membrane. The slip boundary condition applied on the feed saline solution-membrane interface is taken into consideration showing its effects on process parameters particularly permeate flow, heat transfer coefficient and thermal efficiency. The theoretical model was validated with available experimental data and was found to be in good agreement especially when the slip condition is introduced. Increasing slip length from zero to 200 μm was found to increase the permeate flux and the thermal efficiency by 33% and 1.7% respectively.
- membrane distillation
- slip flow