The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy, and sustainable technologies, has signed a research collaboration agreement with Korea University to develop energy-efficient desalination technologies in the UAE.
The research project aims to confirm the viability of large-scale production of desalinated water from a plant fully powered by renewable energy.
It also aims to demonstrate the potential of using promising innovative desalination technologies to reduce the energy footprint of desalination in the UAE.
Under the deal, a consortium of South Korean companies will build a pilot desalination plant in Abu Dhabi to facilitate the research to be conducted by both universities.
An agreement was signed by Prof Seungkwan Hong, the research director of Korea University along with Kim Byung-Soo, the president of Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA), Masdar CEO Mohammed Al Ramahi and Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, the interim provost, Masdar Institute in the presence of Yoo Seung-young, Korean deputy director of Water Resources Policy Bureau, on the sidelines of the ongoing World Future Energy Summit (WFES).
The summit is being organized as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2017 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).
Dr Al Yousuf said: "For the past many decades desalination has been crucial for meeting the growing freshwater needs of the UAE. Going forward, however, we also recognize that it is also crucial for the UAE to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint to attain greater sustainability."
"Renewable energy-powered and energy-efficient desalination is a win-win that will enable us to do both, and we are hopeful that this collaborative research agreement with the Korea University and the KAIA will help validate the technologies needed to make low-carbon desalination a reality," he noted.
Byung-Soo said the Korean R&D project on SWRO desalination in collaboration with UAE was expected to strengthen itsresilience to resolve global water shortage in response to climate change.
"We also hope that the innovative technologies obtained through this research will make Korea and UAE more competitive in the global desalination market," he noted.
According to the agreement, a collaborative research program will evaluate the performance of the desalination pilot plant. Additionally, it will foster the collaboration with Korea University to develop, test and demonstrate novel pretreatment technologies with high potential for energy-efficient operation.
Dr. Hassan Arafat, Professor of Water and Environmental Engineering at Masdar Institute, will be the principal investigator of the research project, while the research team at Korea University will be led by Professor Seungkwan .K. Hong.
Dr Arafat has experience in developing desalination technologies and systems, with particular focus on sustainable, low-energy technologies.
The research program will comprise specific tasks for both Masdar Institute and Korea University. Masdar Institute will conduct chemical analysis of water streams to support the development of pre-treatment technology developed at Korea University, said the statement from the company.
Masdar Institute will also support Korea University in their evaluation of the performance of the Korean pilot desalination plant installed in Abu Dhabi, it added.-TradeArabia News Service