King Saud University seeks wastewater-reuse know-how

Dr Gerhard Schories, technical director of the Water, Energy & Land Use Management Department at ttz Bremerhaven, Gemany, has been appointed to the Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Chair for Water Research (PKC) at King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

He joins two other advisors for the chair: Prof Zaini Ujang, the rector of the Technical University of Malaysia; and Dr Bahman Sheikh, an independent consultant from California. The aim is to attain national and international leadership in the research of advanced wastewater-treatment and water reuse technologies so as to conserve and develop Saudi Arabia’s water resources. The chair is directed by associate professor of environmental engineering, Dr Waleed Zahid.

Systems for wastewater processing, using, for example, membrane bioreactors (MBRs), are to be precisely adapted to local requirements. The reuse of water enriched with nitrogen and phosphor is of particular importance for agricultural purposes, but industrial cooling and cleaning processes can also be rendered more efficient.

At present in Saudi Arabia, 1.84 million m³ of wastewater are collected and processed daily, but only 340,000 m³ of it are reused. This corresponds to 18% of treated wastewater and 6% of drinking water – leaving major potential to be tapped.

In the most recent projects at ttz Bremerhaven, environmental engineers have been dealing with treatment of municipal wastewater by means of MBR technology for water recovery and reuse, and the efficient processing of bilge water contaminated by oil.