A rotating membrane contactor: Experimental studies

Drew W. Johnson, Michael J. Semmens, John S Gulliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this study, unconfined hollow-fiber membrane modules are designed to be attached to a rotating arm that pulls the fibers through water. This use of unconfined membranes is well suited to environmental applications where waters often contain high solids concentrations that can rapidly clog or foul tightly packed conventional tubular membrane module designs. Pressurized oxygen was supplied to the fibers, and the mass-transfer rates and energy requirements of a rotating membrane contactor were measured over a practical range of design and operating conditions. Mass-transfer performance of the unconfined membranes was correlated with the Reynolds number to the 0.52 power. Over the range of values tested, performance was independent of the length, number, and spacing of hollow-fiber membranes; the vertical arm diameter; and the radial position of the vertical arm from the center shaft. The clean water mass-transfer efficiency (kg O2/kW · h) of the contactor was found to be superior to commercially available pure-oxygen dissolution systems and other membrane contactor designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1273
Number of pages9
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998


  • Fouling
  • Hollow fiber membranes
  • Mass transfer
  • Water treatment


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