RO is today the dominant technology in water desalination. However, some critical issues remain open: improvement of water quality, enhancement of the recovery factor, reduction of the unit water cost, minimizing the brine disposal impact. With the aim to solve these problems, an innovative approach based on the integration of different membrane operations in pre-treatment and post-treatment stages is proposed.
Expected outcomes and contributions of the research are:
i) the development of advanced analytical methods for feed water characterization, appropriate fouling indicators and prediction tools, procedures and protocols at full-scale desalination facilities;
ii) identification of optimal seawater pre-treatment strategies by designing advanced hybrid membrane processes (submerged hollow fibre filtration/reaction, adsorption/ion exchange/ozonation) and comparison with conventional methods;
iii) the optimisation of RO membrane module configuration, cleaning strategies, reduction of scaling potential by NF;
iv) the development of strategies aiming to approach the concept of Zero Liquid Discharge (increasing the water recovery factor up to 95% by using Membrane Distillation - MD; bringing concentrates to solids by Membrane Crystallization or Wind Intensified Enhanced Evaporation) and to reduce the brine disposal environmental impact and cost;
v) increase the sustainability of desalination process by reducing energy consumption(evaluation of MD, demonstration of a new energy recovery device for SWRO installations)and u se of renewable energy (wind and solar).
The research team embodies science and engineering from both the practitioner and academic perspectives. Potential end-users and participating utilities will be involved in research activities and applications. Link ages with ongoing research activities and demonstration studies at full-scale desalination plants will be conducted to ensure the applicability and transfer of the findings of the proposed research project.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project