Extending potential flow modelling of flat-sheet geometries as applied in membrane-based systems

M.H. Dirkse, W.K.P. van Loon, J.D. Stigter, J.W. Post, J. Veerman, G.P.A. Bot

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract The efficiency of chemical reactors can be analysed using the residence time distribution. This research focusses on flat-sheet geometries applied in membrane-based systems. The residence time distribution depends mainly on the 2D velocity field, parallel to the membrane. The velocity average over the transversal direction is calculated using potential flow theory. A combination of real and virtual sources and sinks are used to model the internal inlets and outlets. Furthermore, a novel method is presented to calculate the residence time distribution. By ignoring diffusion and dispersion, every streamline is modelled to have a fixed residence time, which can be calculated with a simple quadrature based on a coordinate transformation. The model predicts the impact of the two-dimensional geometry on the residence time distribution, but it is demonstrated that large zones of nearly stagnant flow have only a limited impact on the residence time distribution. The new model can predict the travelling time from the inlet to each interior location, providing a better tool to analyse spatially distributed chemical reactions. The models agreed highly with pressure measurements (R2 = 0.94¿0.98) and they agreed well with tracer experiments for the residence time (R2 = 0.73¿0.99).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-545
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • reverse electrodialysis
  • mass-transport
  • power
  • energy


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