Design and fabrication of inner-selective thin-film composite (TFC) hollow fiber modules for pressure retarded osmosis (PRO)

Chun Feng Wan, Bofan Li, Tianshi Yang, Neal Tai-Shung Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) is a promising technology to harvest the renewable osmotic energy from salinity gradients. There are great progresses in the fabrication of PRO membranes in the last decade. Thin-film composite (TFC) hollow fibers have been widely studied and demonstrated superior performance. However, the lack of effective TFC hollow fiber modules hinders the commercialization of the PRO technology. Knowledge and experiences to fabricate TFC hollow fiber modules remain limited in the open literature. In this study, we aim to reveal the engineering and science on how to fabricate TFC hollow fiber modules including the formation of inner-selective polyamide layers and the repair of leakages. TFC-PES hollow fiber modules with 30% and 50% packing densities have been successfully fabricated, showing peak power densities of 20.0 W/m2 and 19.4 W/m2, respectively, at 20 bar using 1 M NaCl solution and DI water as feeds. The modules may be damaged during handling and high pressure testing. The repaired modules have a power density of 18.2 W/m2, 91% of the power densities of the undamaged ones. This study would make up the gap between TFC membrane fabrication and TFC membrane module fabrication in the membrane industry. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Volume172
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 3 2016

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