Under the Strategic Water Research Program Funded by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science, The Research Council (TRC) and The Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC) have signed a research contract during a ceremony held at TRC offices. The agreement was signed by H.E Dr. Hilal al Hinai, Secretary General of The Research Council and MEDRC Center Director, Ciarán Ó Cuinn.
Under the agreement MEDRC will lead a 2-year water research project to investigate the potential of reusing discarded reverse osmosis desalination membranes for treating wastewater for industrial or agricultural use.
The research project will deliver an in-depth analysis of membrane use in Oman, including an assessment of the life cycle of RO membranes and the annual mass being consigned to landfill. The project will examine the technical feasibility of removing the outer layer of the membrane and modifying the unit to effectively treat wastewater for agricultural and industrial use.
Located in Muscat, MEDRC conduct, facilitate and promote scientific research that focuses on applying the latest technological advances to cut operational costs, energy requirements and the environmental impact of desalination.
MEDRC Center Director, Ciarán Ó Cuinn said, ‘As we move towards sustainable desalination, technological innovations need to be green and cost effective. Recovering discarded membranes and applying novel chemical and mechanical approaches to enable them to be reused would create considerable financial and environmental benefits. Initiatives such as these underpin MEDRC’s mandate to provide solutions to fresh water scarcity. We are proud to be working with The Research Council and our partners to lead a project that will have a real and practical impact in Oman and beyond.’
As part of the project, a testing unit will be built to perform trials on the recovered membranes at MEDRC’s water research and training facility in Al Hail. The organization’s on-site water testing laboratory will be used to conduct all water analysis.
MEDRC will leverage its extensive research network to bring in international expertise from renowned water research entities IMDEA Agua (Spain) and Valoriza Aqua (Spain) and link them with national experts from the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) Majis Industrial Services (Majis) and Haya Water.
MEDRC have issued a call for applications from young water researchers in Oman to form part of the project investigation team. Three positions will be awarded to high performing aspiring candidates who are enrolled in a Master’s Degree Program and are interested in pursuing a career in water.