Diffusive transport across unconfined hollow fiber membranes

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

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24 Scopus citations


The mass transfer characteristics of gas permeable, hollow fiber membranes in a liquid jet mixed reactor are studied. A membrane module, operated in the sealed-end mode, was pressurized with oxygen at the base of the fibers and centered within a submerged jet discharge. Unlike conventional membrane module designs, this configuration did not have the hollow fibers enclosed within a tubular shell. The membranes were unconfined and free to move within the generated flow field. This design is especially well suited for use in waters containing high solid concentrations. The membranes have a greater degree of freedom for movement and are therefore less likely to become fouled due to solids being lodged within the fiber bundle. Mass transfer rates were measured over a practical range of physical and process parameters. A mass transfer correlation for the unconfined configuration is presented and the transfer performance of this configuration is compared with conventional membrane contactor designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-81
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 28 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support of the Center for Clean Industrial and Treatment Technology is acknowledged. In addition, all membrane modules used in this study were supplied by Membran Corporation, Minneapolis, MN.


  • Fiber membranes
  • Mass transfer
  • Modules
  • Theory
  • Water treatment


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