Integrated Renewable Energy-Driven and Energy-Efficient Innovative Desalination Technologies for Water Supply Sustainability

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Integrated Renewable Energy-Driven and Energy-Efficient Innovative Desalination Technologies for Water Supply Sustainability

Prof. Noreddine Ghaffour

The current desalination technologies are very energy-intensive compared to the thermodynamic limits, despite recent technical improvements. Furthermore, membrane technology development is hampered by relatively low flux performances and membrane (bio)fouling. Several countries have realized that they are not going to be protected from the future global energy crisis and have started to set up plans to diversify their energy resources, e.g. renewable energy, and development of innovative low-energy desalination technologies. There is therefore a need to develop more suitable integrated technologies. In previous work we have shown that these new technologies can significantly lower the specific energy consumption. In this talk, emerging desalination technologies developed by our group, mainly membrane distillation, forward osmosis, and adsorption desalination and hybrid systems will be presented, with a focus on one specific case study, and supported by experimental and simulation results. Other related current and future research topics, such as development of a novel membrane cleaning technique, will also be presented.

Professor Noreddine Ghaffour joined the Water Desalination & Reuse Center (WDRC) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in 2010. He is the WDRC’s Research Theme Leader on Desalination. Before leaving Montpellier University, France, where he spent seven years, he spent another seven years as R&D and Capacity Building Manager at the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC). Noreddine has over 25 years of experience in the field of drinking water treatment technologies, and has specialized in the area of membrane and thermal based desalination processes and its related fields. Over the years, he has made major contributions becoming an internationally recognized expert in desalination technologies and its related fields, such as renewable energy-driven and innovative energy-efficient desalination technologies. He obtained his PhD degree from Montpellier University, France, in 1995. He is the author of over 230 publications, several patents and chapters in textbooks. Noreddine is an Associate Editor of the Desalination Journal and a member of the Editorial Board of other water related journals. He is a frequent speaker, including keynotes, and sessions chair in international conferences, seminars and workshops. He also has experience in scaling-up innovative desalination processes and start-ups.