New Qatar lab will look at desalination and energy

A programme to set up the Qatar Sustainable Water & Energy Utilization (QWE) Laboratory was launched on 21 April 2009 at the Texas A&M University at Qatar. It will help Qatar to address pressing water and energy problems including desalination.

Announcing the programme, the deputy premier and minister of energy and industry, HE Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, said the centre initiative was a realisation of the productive working relationship between the energy and industrial sectors and Qatar’s research and educational institutions to serve the needs of the community.

The deputy premier also said that Qatar’s general electricity and water corporation, Kahramaa, was looking in depth at all possible technologies used in power generation/water desalination systems as well as state-of-the-art designing tools to optimise designs for environmental protection and maintain sustainable resources, especially the main sources for electricity generation and water production.

Al Attiyah also said that using solar and nuclear power in electricity generation and water desalination were the way forward in creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly system in Qatar.

Dr Patrick Linke and Dr Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, two chemical engineering professors at the university, will lead the initiative and work towards developing the scientific and technical base required. The project will have an advisory board with key representatives from the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture, the General Secretariat for Development Planning, Mesaieed Industrial City, Kahramaa and Qatar Petroleum.

The technical areas of QWE will be diverse yet coordinated:

  • Environmental impact assessment of water and energy use,
  • Minimization of water consumption and discharge,
  • Maximization of industrial energy efficiency and reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions,
  • Improved technologies for desalination,
  • Tailored water treatment systems for efficient water and wastewater management,
  • Hazardous waste management,
  • Systems design and optimization for maximum economic and environmental performance.