Optimizing the axial resistance profile of submerged hollow fiber membranes

Michael Kuhn, Heiko Briesen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Submerged hollow fiber membranes (SHFMs) are used for a wide variety of applications. Their applicability and their advantages, however, depend crucially on the prevailing hydrodynamics within single fibers. In this respect, the non-uniform distribution of transmembrane flux is a known problem related to inhomogeneous membrane fouling and disadvantages for cleaning. To address this problem, we propose an approach to homogenize transmembrane flux by varying the local membrane resistance using optimal control methods for the first time in SHFM research. Based on an established model, different scenarios are optimized, namely with different fiber lengths and inner radii. In addition, a double-end setup is explored. It is shown that the optimization goal is reached very well in all tested cases, which underlines the general validity of our strategy. Further uses and extensions of the optimization method are provided, as well as hints for the practical implementation of the suggested measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Filter design
  • Mechanistic model
  • Membrane filtration
  • Optimal control
  • Process optimization


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