Chemical Papers

, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 543–554 | Cite as

Removal of copper sulfate from aqueous solution by air-gap membrane distillation process

  • Chao-Huan Yang
  • Ya-Jing Zhao
  • Lan Cheng
  • Ping-Li LiEmail author
  • Ying-Dong Li
  • He-Ying Chang
Original Paper


The potential use of air-gap membrane distillation (AGMD) process for the removal of copper sulfate (CuSO4) from aqueous solution was examined. A series of experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of both operation parameters and module parameters, including hot feed temperature(T3), coolant temperature (T1), feed flow rate (F), feed salt concentration (cf), vacuum pressure (P), the rate of hollow fiber membranes and heat-exchange hollow fibers (Nm/Nd) and the length of the modules (L) on permeate water flux (J), gained output ratio (GOR), water productivity (PV), and salt rejection rate (R) in AGMD process. It was found that the performance of AGMD process could be enhanced, but permeate water quality was deteriorated by adding vacuum pressure. Moreover, J declined, but PV and GOR increased as L increased. With the increment of Nm/Nd, J decreased when operation parameters keep constant, PV and GOR showed different variation trends with different T1 values due to the insufficient cold energy. The highest CuSO4 rejection rate exceeded 99.95%, so AGMD process has potential for CuSO4 separation from aqueous solution.


Hollow fiber membrane module Air-gap membrane distillation Copper sulfate Module parameters 


Compliances with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao-Huan Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ya-Jing Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lan Cheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ping-Li Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ying-Dong Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • He-Ying Chang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering Research Center, School of Chemical Engineering and TechnologyTianjin UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Tianjin State Key Lab of Membrane Science and Desalination TechnologyTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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