The presently used hollow fiber membrane modules consist of a bundle of fibers in a cylindrical polymer or metal shell parallel to the shell axis. The feed solution flows either through the lumen or at the outside parallel to the fibers. This paper compares the performance of these modules with a new transverse flow module where the hollow fibers are positioned perpendicularly to the flow direction. For both types of modules the product costs are calculated for desalination by reverse osmosis and Dextran concentration by ultrafiltration. These calculations are based on literature data. The main conclusion is that the application of the tr`ansverse flow module is only attractive if the permeation resistance is mainly determined by the hydrodynamics (ultrafiltration) and not attractive if the membrane permeability is the main resistance (reverse osmosis).