Skip to Content

Membrane distillation (MD) is a relatively new process that is being investigated worldwide as a low cost, energy saving alternative to conventional separation processes such as distillation and reverse osmosis. Membrane distillation refers to membrane operations having the following characteristics: 1). The membrane should be porous; 2). The membrane should not be wetted by the process liquids; 3). No capillary condensation should take place inside the pores of the membrane; 4). The membrane must not alter the vapor-liquid equilibrium of the different components in the process liquids; 5). At least one side of the membrane is in direct contact with the process liquid; 6). For each component the driving force of this membrane operation is a partial pressure gradient in the vapor phase. MD process is being investigated to replace reverse osmosis or thermal distillation for brackish water desalination in the State of New Mexico . The objective of this project is to address several technical and economic issues associate with MD desalination process.