Desalination and Water Recycling by Air Gap Membrane Distillation

G.W. Meindersma, C.M. Guijt, A.B. de Haan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging technology for desalination. Membrane distillation differs from other membrane technologies in that the driving force for desalination is the difference in vapour pressure of water across the membrane, rather than total pressure. The membranes for MD are hydrophobic, which allows water vapour (but not liquid water) to pass. The vapour pressure gradient is created by heating the source water, thereby elevating its vapour pressure. The major energy requirement is for low-grade thermal energy. It is expected that the total costs for drinking water with membrane distillation will be lower than $0.50/m3, even as low as $0.26/m3, depending on the source of the thermal energy required for the evaporation of water through the membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-301
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventIntegrated Concepts in Water Recycling, ICWR 2005 - Wollongong, Australia
Duration: 14 Feb 200517 Feb 2005


  • Desalination
  • Water recycling
  • Air gap membrane distillation
  • Water costs


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