Scaling reduction in carbon nanotube-immobilized membrane during membrane distillation

Madihah Saud Humoud, Sagar Roy, Somenath Mitra

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17 Scopus citations


Membrane distillation (MD) is fast evolving as a desalination technology for high-salinity waters where scaling remains a major challenge. This paper reports the scaling reduction in carbon nanotube-immobilized membranes (CNIMs) and by the use of the antiscalant polyacrylic acid. High concentrations of CaSO4, CaCO3, and BaSO4 were deliberately used to initiate scaling on the membranes. It was observed that after ten hours of operation in a highly scaling CaSO44 environment, the CNIM showed 127% higher flux than what was observed on a membrane without the CNTs. The trends were similar with CaCO3 and BaSO4, where the CNIM showed significantly improved antiscaling behavior. The normalized flux declination for CNIM was found to be 45%, 30%, and 53% lower compared to the pristine membrane with CaSO44, CaCO3, and BaSO4 solutions, respectively. The use of antiscalant in the feed solution was also found to be effective in improving antiscaling behavior, which reduced salt deposition up to 28%, and the water vapor flux was 100% and 18% higher for the pristine polypropylene and CNIM, respectively. Results also showed that the presence of CNTs facilitated the removal of deposited salts by washing, and the CNIM regained 97% of its initial water flux, whereas the polypropylene only regained 85% of the original value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2588
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


  • Antiscalant
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Desalination
  • Membrane distillation
  • Scaling


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