Water flow prediction for membranes using 3D simulations with detailed morphology
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© 2015 Elsevier B.V. The membrane morphology significantly influences membrane performance. For osmotically driven membrane processes, the morphology strongly affects the internal concentration polarization. Different membrane morphologies were generated by simulation and their influence on membrane performance was studied, using a 3D model. The simulation results were experimentally validated for two classical phase-inversion membrane morphologies: sponge- and finger-like structures. Membrane porosity and scanning electron microscopy image information were used as model input. The permeance results from the simulation fit well the experimentally measured permeances. Water permeances were predicted for different kinds of finger-like cavity membranes with different finger-like cavity lengths and various finger-like cavity sets, as well as for membranes with cylindrical cavities. The results provide realistic information on how to increase water permeance, and also illustrate that membrane's complete morphology is important for the accurate water permeance evaluation. Evaluations only based on porosity might be misleading, and the new 3D simulation approach gives a more realistic representation.
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