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An Effective Standalone Solar Air Gap Membrane Distillation Plant for Saline Water Desalination: Mathematical Model, Optimization

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jie ZhangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 by the authors.Several drinking water production techniques are being established to respond immediately to the growing needs of the population. The system of air gap membrane distillation (AGMD) is the best attractive option for the process of water desalination. This thermal process is characterized by its potential to provide drinking water at low energy costs when combined with solar energy. In this paper, the AGMD brackish water desalination unit potentialities coupled with solar energy were investigated. Ghardaïa of the south region has been considered as the field of our study. Mathematical modeling is investigated by employing MATLAB software to develop the prediction of the permeate flux related to the phenomena of heat and mass transfer. Herein, flat plate solar collectors (SFPC) were exploited as a source for heating saline water through free solar energy conversion. The further model validation of a flat solar collector made it possible for following the instantaneous evolution of the collector outlet temperature depending on the feed water temperature and the flow rate. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the results prove the possibility to produce water by the solar AGMD process with a maximum permeate flux of 8 kg·m−2·h−1 achieved at 68 °C, a feed temperature. Moreover, gained output ratio (GOR) of the unit of thermal solar desalination was estimated to be about 4.6, which decreases with increasing hot water flow and temperature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mibarki N, Triki Z, Belhadj A-E, Tahraoui H, Zamouche M, Kebir M, Amrane A, Zhang J, Mouni L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water

Year: 2023

Volume: 15

Issue: 6

Print publication date: 02/03/2023

Online publication date: 15/03/2023

Acceptance date: 13/03/2023

Date deposited: 18/04/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2073-4441

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/w15061141


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