Experimental Methods in Desalination and Membrane Technology

This course covers the fundamentals of membrane-based desalination and the experimental and analytical methods for water quality characterization applied in desalination and membrane technology processes for producing drinking and industrial water and water for irrigation.

Apply now for

OKP and MSP Scholarship

If your are eligible, consider to apply for an Orange Knowledge or MENA Scholarship Programme. Interested? Apply for admission to this course by 25 September 2022.

For whom?

The course targets undergraduate and graduate students, academics, laboratory staff, plant operators, engineers, consultants, and other sector professionals in the water sector.


Pre-requisites are a basic knowledge of chemistry, microbiology, water treatment. Civil, chemical or environmental engineering background is a plus.

Dates, Fee, ECTS

Start: 05 June 2023
End: 16 June 2023
ECTS credit points: 3
Deadline IHE application: 04 May 2023 - 23.59 (CET)
Course fee: € 3500

VAT is not included in the course fee

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. To explain the fundamentals of membrane-based desalination.
  2. To explain the fundamentals and main methodological steps involved in the preparation and conduction of experimental methods applied to assess fouling and scaling in desalination and water treatment systems.
  3. To design and conduct experimental methods to assess the fouling and scaling potential of water along a treatment process.
  4. To critically analyse and discuss data and results obtained from experimental methods to assess the fouling and scaling potential in treatment systems.
  5. To evaluate the process performance and characteristics of drinking water treatment processes including desalination.

Course content

Sustainable desalination for drinking, agriculture and industry applications.

Fouling and scaling issues in desalination and membrane systems.

Pre-treatment systems.

Environmental concerns in desalination.

Experimental methods to assess fouling and scaling:

  • Particulate fouling: i) silt density index (SDI), ii) modified fouling index (MFI0.45), iii) modified fouling index with ultrafiltration membranes (MFI-UF).
  • Organic matter: i) total and dissolved organic carbon (TOC, DOC), ii) fluorescence excitation emission matrix (FEEM), iii) ultraviolet absorbance (UV254), iv) liquid chromatography coupled with organic carbon detection (LC-OCD), v) transparent exopolymer particles (TEP)
  • Biomass quantification: i) adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), ii) total, live and dead cells quantification by flow cytometry (FCM)
  • Biological fouling: i) bacterial growth potential test (BGP-ATP/FCM), ii) membrane fouling simulator (MFS)
  • Scaling: i) induction time tests, ii) scaling and antiscalant dosing projections by standard procedures and free commercial software.

Performance assessment of water treatment systems.

Field work


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