Modeling of Transport Phenomena in Reverse Osmosis Membranes
The present research investigates, both theoretically and experimentally transport phenomena in reverse osmosis (RO) membranes.
In order to properly describe and predict RO membrane performance, and to properly design RO units, a good understanding of the fundamentals of the membrane transport is needed; this means that a strong transport model needs to be developed. This research is concerned with the development of such a model. As well, the effects of system pressure, concentration, and temperature on the performance of thin-film composite, aromatic polyamide RO membranes with sodium chloride and some other salts are examined both experimentally and theoretically.
The present research investigates the development of a powerful, novel transport model for reverse osmosis, which does not have the serious shortcomings of the previous models, and an experimental evaluation of this model. As a result, a mechanistic model, called the Modified Surface-Pore Flow (MD-SF-PF) model, has been developed. The model assumes that transport through the membrane takes place in very fine pores, and the pores are modeled as perfect cylinders. In this two-dimensional model, a valance of applied and frictional forces acting on the solute in a pore is given as a function of radial and axial positions. The model incorporates a potential field inside the membrane which is responsible for a partitioning effect ( at the two sides of the membrane) and, in part, determines the membrane performance. A computer code has been developed, based on the "orthogonal collocation" method of weighted residuals, which has proven to be very efficient and precise to solve the complicated differential equations of the transport models.