Desalination and Membrane Technology

This course provides theoretical and practical knowledge on the design and operation of desalination systems and membrane processes (microfiltration, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis). 

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For whom?

Professionals dealing with engineering, management and education in the fields of desalination of seawater and brackish water, water supply and urban infrastructure will benefit greatly from this short course. It is also helpful for post graduate students in civil, chemical, and environmental engineering. Participants from government organisations (such as local administrations and national agencies), non-governmental organisations and the private sector are encouraged to join. This course is ideal for practicing engineers who are working in the water supply systems.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 20 April 2020
End: 08 May 2020
Deadline IHE application: 19 March 2020 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 2910

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. Understand the principles of microfiltration and ultrafiltration and gain knowledge of their capabilities and constraints in water treatment applications, and have practical knowledge on the operation of these processes.
  2. Understand the principles of desalination with reverse osmosis, and be capable of applying this knowledge in designing and selecting appropriate membrane processes for a specific application.
  3. To define and classify fouling types and scaling, and propose mitigation activities for controlling fouling in reverse osmosis systems through pre-treatment.
  4. To evaluate the need and type of pre-treatment for RO systems
  5. Understand the principles, explain, and judge advantages of various advanced oxidation processes for removal of contaminants
  6. Explain the basic principles of chemical softening and ion exchange in water treatment

Specific topics such as membrane fouling, scaling and cleaning are dealt with in detail, including pre-treatment options and the latest developments in monitoring and controlling fouling. Additionally, ion exchange and softening, and advanced oxidations processes are presented with applications to drinking water treatment.

Course content

The following unit process will be explored in detail through lectures, fieldtrips, design exercises, laboratory sessions, and workshops:

Desalination: Introduction to desalination and membrane related technologies

Microfiltration/Ultrafiltration: Basic Principles of Ultrafiltration & Microfiltration. MF and UF elements, modules and systems. Membrane Fouling of MF and UF Systems. Membrane Cleaning of MF and UF Systems. Disinfection and MF/UF systems.

Reverse osmosis: Principles of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration, Overview RO / NF membranes and elements. Process design of RO. Fouling and clogging in RO and NF systems. Particulate fouling. Pretreatment in RO systems. Biofouling. Introduction scaling & calculations. Calcium carbonate, LSI and S&DSI. Monitoring, control scaling and anti-scalants. Calculations with software. Manual Calculations for the design of a Seawater Reverse Osmosis Plant. Case studies water reuse and membrane systems.

Chemical softening: Principles of chemical softening and sludge blanket softening; design and operation of pellet-softening and membrane softening plants.

Ion exchange: Ion exchange resins (selectivity, column operation, regeneration of resins and applications).

Advanced oxidation processes: basic principles, treatment strategies for EDCs, PhAC’s, PPCPs by AOP technologies


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