Korea puts $170m into desalination SWRO and water reuse

Lawrence T Molloy, TCGA, Australia

The Republic of Korea has recently funded a six-year US$ 170 million research initiative in seawater desalination. Over 500 researchers from 16 universities will contribute to the work of the 50-member core team.

Government leaders funded the research initiative in part due to the success of South Korean multinational firms in the desalination export sector. However, the South Korean desalination initiative has a humanitarian goal as well, since much of the world's population faces a future of uncertain access to clean water.

SeaHERO (Seawater Engineering & Architecture of High Efficiency RO) was launched by the South Korean government in August 2007. The program is coordinated by In S Kim, executive director of the Center for Seawater Desalination Plant located at Gung Ju Institute of Science & Technology.

The six-year program has the goal of providing innovation in reverse-osmosis membranes, energy recovery and reducing the cost of engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance.

This article appeared in D&WR magazine's August/September 2008 issue.

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