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Trends in Membrane Distillation for Wastewater Treatment

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Document pages: 19 pages

Abstract: Membrane distillation (MD) is a promising technology that enables the treatment of high-salinity wastewater. To monitor the state and trends of MD technology for wastewater treatment, the patent filings from the last nine years were analyzed. A total of 72 documents with a special focus either on the membrane itself or on the equipment and process were found. China, United States and Japan play a leading role in the development of these technologies. Most of the inventions concentrating on the membrane apply polymers as the material. Inventions describing the equipment and process are mainly related to system and module design, but also cover the combination of MD with other technologies, the treatment customization to a specific type of wastewater, fouling control and cleaning, and energy recovery. Finally, enhancements in water flux and energy efficiency are found to be key factors to broaden the application of MD technology in wastewater treatment.

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