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Title: Direct molecular diffusion and micro-mixing for rapid dewatering of LiBr solution

A slow molecular diffusion rate often limits the desorption process of an absorbate molecule from a liquid absorbent. To enhance the desorption rate, the absorbent is often boiled to increase the liquid vapor interfacial area. However, the growth of bubbles generated during the nucleate boiling process still remains mass-diffusion limited. Here, it is shown that a desorption rate higher than that of boiling can be achieved, if the vapor absorbent interface is continuously replenished with the absorbate-rich solution to limit the concentration boundary layer growth. The study is conducted in a LiBr-water-solution, in which the water molecules' diffusion rate is quite slow. The manipulation of the vapor solution interface concentration distribution is enabled by the mechanical confinement of the solution flow within microchannels, using a hydrophobic vapor-venting membrane and the implementation of microstructures on the flow channel's bottom wall. The microstructures stretch and fold the laminar streamlines within the solution film and produce vortices. The vortices continuously replace the concentrated solution at the vapor solution interface with the water-rich solution brought from the bottom and middle of the flow channel. The physics of the process is described using a combination of experimental and numerical studies. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Thermal Engineering; Journal Volume: 64; Journal Issue: 2-Jan
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
Country of Publication:
United States