Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Yingchen Yang

Second Advisor

Dr. Horacio Vasquez

Third Advisor

Dr. Maysam Pournik


The humidification-dehumidification (HDH) desalination technology is a promising desalination process that has the potential to provide cost-effective and environmentally friendly saltwater desalination, especially when combined with renewable energy sources. The working principle mimics the natural hydrologic cycle, involving the evaporation of seawater into water vapor (humidification) and condensation into freshwater (dehumidification). HDH desalination can be land-based or ocean-based. Some of the advantages of ocean-based systems include removing pretreatment processes, utilization of ocean energy (i.e. thermal and kinetic), and eliminating brine production. This study focuses on the design and experimental testing of a novel humidifier device using parallel layers of clothing fabric for ocean based HDH desalination. For a practical and cost-effective humidifier design, only commercially available fabric materials are considered for this study. A total of 38 fabrics are tested to characterize their water retention and capillary wicking attributes. The relation of these fabric properties to the heat and mass transfer performance of the humidifier are discussed. It is found that a balance between the water retention and wicking performance of the fabric, is crucial to improve the efficiency of the humidifier.


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