Flow and mass transfer in spacer-filled channels for reverse electrodialysis: a CFD parametrical study

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In reverse electrodialysis (RED) concentration polarization phenomena and pressure drop affect strongly the power output obtainable; therefore the channel geometry has a crucial impact on the system optimization. Both overlapped and woven spacers are commonly commercialised and adopted for RED experiments; the latter exhibit some potential advantages, such as better mixing and lower shadow effect, but they have been poorly investigated in the literature so far. In this work, computational fluid dynamics was used to predict fluid flow and mass transfer in spacer-filled channels for RED applications. A parametric analysis for different spacer geometries was carried out: woven (w) and overlapped (o) spacers with filaments at 90° were simulated, and Reynolds number, pitch to height ratio (l/h) and orientation with respect to the main flow (α=0° and α=45°) were made to vary. The filament arrangement was found to be a crucial feature; for any given pumping power, higher Sherwood numbers were provided by the w-arrangement. The influence of flow attack angle and filament spacing depends on Reynolds number and filament arrangement. Only the configuration w-α45 avoids the presence of poorly mixed zones near the wires. Among the cases investigated here, the configuration that provided the best mixing conditions was w, l/h=2, α=45°.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)300-317
Numero di pagine18
RivistaJournal of Membrane Science
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation

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