The Middle East and North Africa desalination industry accounts for about 50% of global desalination capacity. Yet, membranes which are the pivotal element of desalination are still sourced from outside the region. Manufacturing these membranes in the region can have many benefits, including the generation of job opportunities and tailoring membrane characteristics to be suitable for the seawater being treated in the region. Exploring this possibility and converting it into reality is the focus of this project.
The main objectives of this project are to investigate the challenges of scaling up the synthesis of innovative membranes that have been proven to be efficient on a small scale, test the performance of the developed membranes on a pilot scale and long-term trials, and examine fouling development and mitigation strategies of such membranes using advanced monitoring and analysis techniques. The first objective involves many steps as the synthesis is studied from nano-scale all the way to large-scale. The membrane technologies of focus are reverse osmosis (RO), Nanofiltration (NF), Ultrafiltration (UF), and Microfiltration (MF).