Membrane distillation (MD) is a thermal technology for the desalination process that requires a hydrophobic microporous membrane to ensure that the membrane can maintain the liquid-vapor interface. This work aims to enhance the water permeation flux of the previously coated membrane by modifying the surface of the polytetrafluoroethylene hollow fiber (PTFE HF) membrane with a selected non-solvent such as acetone, cyclohexanone, and ethanol in low-density polyethylene as a polymeric coating solution. However, the modification using acetone and cyclohexanone solvents was unsuccessful because a reduction in membrane hydrophobicity was observed. The modified PTFE HF membrane with ethanol content exhibits high wetting resistance with a high water contact angle, which can withstand pore wetting during the direct contact MD process. Since MD operates under a lower operating temperature range (50-90 °C) compared to the conventional distillation, we herein demonstrated that higher flux could be obtained at 7.26 L m-2 h-1. Thus, the process is economically feasible because of lower energy consumption. Performance evaluation of the modified PTFE HF membrane showed a high rejection of 99.69% for sodium chloride (NaCl), indicating that the coated membrane preferentially allowed only water vapor to pass through.
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