Assessment of pilot direct contact membrane distillation regeneration of lithium chloride solution in liquid desiccant air-conditioning systems using computer simulation

Publication Name

Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Membrane distillation (MD) has been increasingly explored for treatment of various hyper saline waters, including lithium chloride (LiCl) solutions used in liquid desiccant air-conditioning (LDAC) systems. In this study, the regeneration of liquid desiccant LiCl solution by a pilot direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process is assessed using computer simulation. Unlike previous experimental investigations, the simulation allows to incorporate both temperature and concentration polarisation effects in the analysis of heat and mass transfer through the membrane, thus enabling the systematic assessment of the pilot DCMD regeneration of the LiCl solution. The simulation results demonstrate distinctive profiles of water flux, thermal efficiency, and LiCl concentration along the membrane under cocurrent and counter-current flow modes, and the pilot DCMD process under counter-current flow is superior to that under cocurrent flow regarding the process thermal efficiency and LiCl concentration enrichment. Moreover, for the pilot DCMD regeneration of LiCl solution under the counter-current flow, the feed inlet temperature, LiCl concentration, and especially the membrane leaf length exert profound impacts on the process performance: the process water flux halves from 12 to 6 L/(m2·h) whilst thermal efficiency decreases by 20% from 0.46 to 0.37 when the membrane leaf length increases from 0.5 to 1.5 m.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Foundation for Science and Technology Development



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