Nicolás Carro, David Mora, Jesús Vellojín:
A finite element model for concentration polarization and osmotic effects in a membrane channel
In this paper we study a mathematical model that represents the concentration polarization and osmosis effects in a reverse osmosis cross-flow channel with porous membranes at some of its boundaries. The fluid is modeled using the Navier-Stokes equations and Darcy's law is used to impose the momentum balance on the membrane. The scheme consist of a conforming finite element method with the velocity–pressure formulation for the Navier-Stokes equations, together with a primal scheme for the convection–diffusion equations. The Nitsche method is used to impose the permeability condition across the membrane. Several numerical experiments are performed to show the robustness of the method. The resulting model accurately replicates the analytical models and predicts similar results to previous works. It is found that the submerged configuration has the highest permeate production, but also has the greatest pressure loss of all three configurations studied.