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A bubble column evaporator with basic flat-plate condenser for brackish and seawater desalination

Schmack, M., Ho, G.ORCID: 0000-0001-9190-8812 and Anda, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-7398-4192 (2016) A bubble column evaporator with basic flat-plate condenser for brackish and seawater desalination. Environmental Technology, 37 (1). pp. 74-85.

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This paper describes the development and experimental evaluation of a novel bubble column-based humidification-dehumidification system, for small-scale desalination of saline groundwater or seawater in remote regions. A bubble evaporator prototype was built and matched with a simple flat-plate type condenser for concept assessment. Consistent bubble evaporation rates of between 80 and 8814ml per hour were demonstrated. Particular focus was on the performance of the simple condenser prototype, manufactured from rectangular polyvinylchlorid plastic pipe and copper sheet, a material with a high thermal conductivity that quickly allows for conduction of the heat energy. Under laboratory conditions, a long narrow condenser model of 150014mm length and 10014mm width achieved condensate recovery rates of around 73%, without the need for external cooling. The condenser prototype was assessed under a range of different physical conditions, that is, external water cooling, partial insulation and aspects of air circulation, via implementing an internal honeycomb screen structure. Estimated by extrapolation, an up-scaled bubble desalination system with a 114m2 condenser may produce around 1914l of distilled water per day. Sodium chloride salt removal was found to be highly effective with condensate salt concentrations between 70 and 13514S. Based on findings and with the intent to reduce material cost of the system, a shorter condenser length of 75014mm for the non-cooled (passive) condenser and of 50014mm for the water-cooled condenser was considered to be equally efficient as the experimentally evaluated prototype of 150014mm length.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Copyright: © 2015 Taylor & Francis.
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