Study on a novel spray-evaporation multi-effect distillation desalination system

Penghua Guo, Tiantian Li, Peiwen Li, Yaxin Zhai, Jingyin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


As the negative environmental impacts associated with disposal of brine concentrate become increasingly recognized and attracting public attention, zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is emerging as a technique for desalination plants to minimize waste and recover resources. In this study, an innovative concept of a spray-evaporation multi-effect distillation (SE-MED) system is proposed to achieve ZLD, in which a spray evaporation tank (SET) is used to fully split brine disposal for water and salts. A steady-state mathematical model for the SE-MED process is developed under several simplification assumptions. A five-effect forward SE-MED system with a bleed fraction of 20% is designed based on the mathematical model. A simplified vaporization model is also developed to describe the motion and evaporation behavior of a single water droplet in the SET. The calculated trajectories of the droplet provide guidance to the SET design. Two-phase simulations are performed to provide further insight into spray evaporation performance inside the SET. Results indicate that a high evaporation efficiency of 99.86% is achievable by the modified SET. In addition, the application of the Reaction Engineering Approach in the hindered spray evaporation simulation is discussed and validated for future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114195
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Brine disposal
  • Desalination
  • Spray evaporation
  • Zero liquid discharge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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