Optimal Design of Membrane-Based Desalination Processes
Qatar heavily depends on seawater desalination to provide fresh water for domestic and industrial use. Membrane-based desalination processes in the form of reverse osmosis are considered more energy efficient, less capital intensive and more environmentally benign than their thermal counterparts. Recent advances have yielded further membrane processes that are complementary to reverse osmosis in separating dissolved solids from water. These include nanofiltration, membrane distillation, electrodialysis and membrane crystallization. Hybrid configurations of some or all of these processing units have been claimed to outperform conventional processes based on reverse osmosis alone. The best configurations will depend on the feed water quality as well as on the treatment goal (e.g. brine discharge, zero liquid discharge, salt production). This research initiative aims at developing systematic method capable of identifying optimal desalination processes using a model-based innovation approach.
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