Utilizing the Buckingham Pi theorem and multi regression analysis for scaling up the direct contact membrane distillation processes

  • Heba Khafajah

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this study, the performance of direct contact membrane distillation is investigated, as it is affected by several parameters, such as the feed and permeate flow rate, the feed and permeate temperatures, the module size, the membrane's material and structure properties, and other operating and design parameters. Several experiments have been conducted using lab modules to analyze the effects of each parameter separately to optimize the system performance towards maximum permeate flux rate. Results from lab experiments differ when applied to full-scale prototypes. Buckingham's Pi theorem is used in this study to group these parameters into a dimensionless group that can be used for scale-up. To create these dimensionless groups, fluid properties such as density, viscosity, and specific heat and operating parameters such as feed flow velocity and temperature were compiled. The literature's experimental data for different membrane distillation scales evaluated the developed DCMD dimensionless relevant groups. Dimensionless relationships among these groups are established. DCMD experimentally validated computational model is developed and used to extend the operation parameters beyond the experimental data and examine the validity of the dimensionless group's relationships. The created dimensionless parameters can predict the large-scale membrane distillation system performance using experimentally and computationally laboratory-scale results. Empirical correlations are established for DCMD permeate flux and the pressure drop as a function of geometry factor, Reynolds number, and the Temperature ratio.
Date of AwardDec 2021
Original languageAmerican English


  • Membrane distillation; Dimensional analysis; Pi-Theorem; Heat and mass transfer; Scale Modelling; Membrane model
  • multi regression.

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