Simultaneous Concentration of Dissolved Solids and Recovery of Clean Water from Acid Mine Drainage Employing Membrane Distillation

This study explored the techno-economic feasibility of using membrane distillation to recover clean water from acid mine drainage employing both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. A microporous hydrophobic polypropylene membrane displaying 0.45 um pores exhibited the highest water flux during long-term testing under steady state continuous process conditions. Currently, natural gas and electricity are the most economical energy sources for the proposed membrane separation process to treat acid mine drainage. However, by 2030 renewable sources, and PV in particular, will become competitive with nonrenewable energy sources.