Phase 2 of Qatar’s MD research concluded

Completion of the second phase of the joint evaluation of membrane distillation technology by Qatar’s ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Center, Qatar Electricity & Water Co (QEWC) and Qatar University was celebrated on 27 November 2013.

The Membrane Distillation Field Demonstration project project (see D&WR feature August/September 2013) aims to prove that quality freshwater can be produced from brines discharged from thermal desalination plants using low-grade waste heat from industry and/or renewable sources.

The project started in October 2011 and was hosted in the university’s Chemical Engineering Department. The technology uses less energy, has a lower environmental impact and is less costly than conventional methods for desalinating high salinity brines.

In collaboration with QEWC, Phase 2 saw the units operating at the Ras Abu Fontas power and desalination plant to evaluate the process under industrial conditions. A waste-heat audit was conducted to identify opportunities whereby the energy needed by MD could be obtained from sources within two Qatari desalination facilities.