Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.360, No.1-2, 483-492, 2010
Optimizing the compacity of ceramic membranes
The aim of this study is to increase exchange area or specific area of the membrane unit containing the ceramic membranes in order to achieve a compacity of over 330 m(2)/m(3). Several configurations were studied by varying parameters like the diameter, membrane geometry, and the form of channels (cylindrical, square-section, triangular, hexagonal, etc.). Taking manufacturing constraints into account, several optimized geometries were described, thus allowing the optimization of the filtration area for each module. In this way, membrane compacity was significantly improved. Therefore a substantial increase in the permeate flux was expected and it was important to verify the capacity of the porous media to evacuate such permeate flux. Computational fluid dynamics analysis was used to simulate permeate evacuation as well as the flow-rate of each individual channel in the monolith. The optimal geometries could then be determined as a function of this permeate flow-rate and/or cut-off threshold. The experimental results obtained with water were in good agreement with those obtained by numerical simulation. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.