Retardation of wetting for membrane distillation by adjusting major components of seawater

Hye Won Kim, Taekgeun Yun, Seungkwan Hong, Seockheon Lee, Seongpil Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Wetting by fouling is phenomenon specific to membrane distillation (MD) and are regarded as challenges to the seawater membrane distillation (SWMD) process. To understand fouling and wetting, the influence of Mg and Sr crystals, which can potentially cause scaling, as well as Ca crystals deposited on the membrane surface were investigated. Mg(OH)2 and CaSO4 had significant impact on fouling and wetting. Even if CaCO3 and SrSO4 had no effects on fouling and wetting as single salts, CaCO3 and CaSO4 were dominant in synthetic seawater without Mg(OH)2. However, the occurrence of Mg(OH)2 scales became a cause for concern if Ca ion was removed from seawater for the prevention of fouling and wetting. Therefore, Mg as well as Ca should be removed for proper fouling and wetting control. NaOH/Na2CO3 softening was used for the removal of Ca and Mg ions. In addition, based on the inhibition effects of Mg ions on Ca scales, a new pretreatment method involving the injection of MgCl2 to increase the Mg /Ca ratio was examined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115677
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Chemical softening
  • Membrane distillation
  • Mg addition
  • Retardation of wetting
  • Visualization system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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