Workshop Summary: Advances in Pretreatment Processes for Desalination



Written by Adhikara Resosudarmo, A.Prof Pierre Le Clech

The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


The workshop titled “Advances in pre-treatment processes for desalination” was successfully conducted on 26th February 2015 at UNSW, Sydney. Organized by A/Prof Pierre Le Clech and Adhikara Resosudarmo, the full day workshop featured presentations by upcoming and established researchers as well as industrial delegates from DOW, Xylem, NuSep, Evoqua, Veolia, BASF an Orica. More than 20 delegates were present at UNSW for the workshop, with videoconferencing being made available for participants from Victoria University and the University of Queensland.

Opening statements to the workshop were given by Neil Palmer (NCEDA) and A. Prof Pierre Le Clech.  Adhikara Resosudarmo spoke of the current trends in desalination pretreatment as well as the strength and potential shortcomings of UF membranes. Professor Vigi Vigneswaran from UTS described innovative membrane bioreactor pretreatment technologies to remove assimilable organic carbon, hence preventing the development of biofouling in reverse osmosis membrane Dr Steven Cao from Evoqua Water Technologies then gave an interesting presentation on recent developments with their new CPII Ultrafiltration systems. The talk highlighted Evoqua’s commitment towards designing the most energy efficient UF pretreatment systems and minimizing operating costs. Pierre Le Clech then hosted a discussion session, giving industrial delegates the opportunity to address the audience with their views on the current state of desalination pretreatment, as well as potential research opportunities in the near future. In the afternoon presentations, Dr Sophie Leterne (Flinders) described advances in prevention and removal of transparent exopolymer particles. Adhikara Resosudarmo spoke of utilizing in-line coagulation and dissolved air flotation to mitigate membrane fouling during algal bloom. Dr Darli Myat (UNSW, VU) then spoke of huge flux increases which could be achieved through the use of advanced oxidation. Yulia Shutova (UNSW) covered the use of advanced characterization techniques for the quantification of seawater organic matter. Acknowledgements go to the sponsors of this workshop, the NCEDA and the MSA, without which this event would not have been made possible.

From left: Prof. Greg Leslie; A/Prof. Pierre Le Clech; Mr. Neil Palmer (CEO of NCEDA); Prof. Vicki Chen and Prof. Vigi Vigneswaran (UTS)