The technology is a thermal membrane-based process consisting of membrane modules installed in series. Operating at low temperature, this new set up enables the use of any renewable heat source such as solar, low-grade waste heat and low-enthalpy geothermal. The system is functional at atmospheric pressure, which further reduces the operational cost. Also, the salinity of the feed water does not have much effect on the performance allowing operation at very high recovery rates.
This technology provides a new design of membrane modules that enhance water production processes. Hydrophobic microporous membrane is used as a contactor between two liquid mediums. The difference in temperature at the two sides of the membrane creates vapor pressure difference which drives the vapor from the hot side to the cold one. Having 5 °C temperature difference between the two liquid mediums is sufficient to achieve the separation. Once the water vapor reaches the cold side, the pure water will condense. The modules operate at low temperature in the range of 50 to 80°C. Consequently, renewable energy, such as solar, low-enthalpy geothermal and any kind of low-grade waste heat.
This MD technology can be applied to any water desalination or reclamation process, such as: