Falling-film heat exchangers used in desalination systems: A review

Zhengshu Dai, Yuheng Zhang, Sophie Wang, Kashif Nawaz, Anthony Jacobi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


With growing demand for fresh water, there has been an increasing interest in energy-efficient desalination technologies. Falling-film-based, multi-effect distillation (MED) systems have been extensively deployed world-wide. The performance of such systems heavily depends on the efficiency of the evaporation process. In the current paper, research on falling-film heat exchangers used in desalination systems, especially MED systems, is critically reviewed to assess the state of the technology. The review includes falling-film evaporation mechanisms, system operation, and scaling issues. Finally, opportunities for further application and areas where more research is needed are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122407
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Desalination
  • Falling film
  • Multi-effect distillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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