Exploitation of solar energy collected by solar stills for desalination by membrane distillation

F. Banat, R. Jumah, M. Garaibeh

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137 Scopus citations


The aim of this work was to evaluate the technical feasibility of producing potable water from simulated seawater by integrating a membrane distillation module with a solar still. The relatively hot brine in the solar still was used as a feed to the membrane module. The synergistic action of the solar still and the membrane module in the production of potable water was quantified. For this purpose, two types of experiment were conducted, indoor experiments and outdoor experiments. The sensitivity of the permeate flux to the brine temperature, flow rate, salt concentration and solar irradiation were all investigated. Overall, the flux of water from the solar still was no more than 20% of the total flux. The brine temperature significantly affected the flux of both the solar still and the membrane module, while the effect of salt concentration was marginal. The effect of these process parameters was more noticeable in the membrane module than in the solar still.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2002


  • Desalination
  • Membrane distillation
  • Solar still


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