Carbon nanotube based composite membranes for water desalination by membrane distillation

Ludovic Dumée, Kallista Sears, Jürg Schütz, Niall Finn, Mikel Duke, Stephen Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


New technologies are required to improve desalination efficiency and increase water treatment capacities. One promising low energy technique to produce potable water from either sea or sewage water is membrane distillation (MD). However, to be competitive with other desalination processes, membranes need to be designed specifically for the MD process requirements. Here we report on the design of carbon nanotube (CNT) based composite material membranes for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). The membranes were characterized and tested in a DCMD setup under different feed temperatures and test conditions. The composite CNT structures showed significantly improved performance compared to their pure self-supporting CNT counterparts. The best composite CNT membranes gave permeabilities as high as3.3 × 10 12 kg/(m × s × Pa) with an average salt rejection of 95% and lifespan of up to 39 h of continuous testing, making them highly promising candidates for DCMD.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalDesalination and Water Treatment
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Bucky-paper
  • Composite material
  • Desalination
  • Membrane distillation
  • Nanotube


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