Abu Dhabi: The reverse osmosis segment of membrane technology will dominate the desalination sector in the coming years with the global market expected to exceed $50 billion by 2020, according to Professor Nidal Hilal, acting provost and professor in Nano-membranology and Water Technologies, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.
He is also Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Desalination, and an international expert in membrane technology and desalination.
The global desalination market is expected to reach $52.4 billion by 2020, up over 320 per cent from $12.5 billion in 2010, according to a recent report from SBI Energy.
The same report further predicts that the reverse osmosis segment of membrane technology will see the largest growth, reaching $40 billion by 2020.
Professor Hilal is chairing the first International Conference on Desalination using Membrane Technology (MEMDES 2013) that is being held from Sunday till Wednesday, at Sitges, 35km south of Barcelona in the Catalan region of Spain.
Dr Raed Hashaikeh, associate professor, Material Science and Engineering, is set to deliver a keynote address on “Membrane Fabrication for Application in Desalination.”
Dr Hassan Arafat, associate professor, Water and Environmental Engineering, will sit on the Scientific Committee and share his insights as a panellist.
Other industry professionals and leading academicians are scheduled to highlight, analyse and discuss global industry trends and other major scientific breakthroughs at the conference that is organised by leading publishers Elsevier.
The event will also allow the dissemination and discussion of cutting edge research and will include theoretical and applied research as well as technological and industrial development.
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute, said: “This is a major forum entirely dedicated to recent developments in membrane desalination and related technologies. Such promising technologies will hold sway in the coming generation.
“We are pleased to actively participate in this conference with the support of the country’s leadership and highlight our recent breakthroughs in this arena. We believe such thought-provoking forums will serve as the drivers of research and innovation.”
Professor Hilal said: “As finite and valuable resources, energy and water are closely inter-related. Seven per cent of all energy consumed globally is used to produce water while 50 per cent of the water supply is used to generate power and both might increase in the future.” As “desalinators” and “membranologists,” we must keep on seeking new ways for the efficient and sustainable production of water, using less energy.
“We hope the conference will provide the necessary impetus by offering a platform to showcase new inventions and leading current technologies.”
Professor Hilal is an international expert in membrane technology and desalination.
He is globally recognised as a leading expert in membrane technology and desalination and a world-leader in developing and applying the force measurement capability of the AFM to the study of membrane separation and engineering processes at the nano-scale level.
Dr Hashaikeh is internationally recognised for his contributions in material engineering. He is also on the editorial board of the international journal Desalination.
He was instrumental in leading a team of scientists that developed a new battery technology for which Masdar Institute has filed a patent application in the US.
Dr Arafat and Dr Hashaikeh are currently conducting research on “Engineering eco-friendly membranes to treat seawater.” The project aims to make desalination more environment-friendly by developing more eco-friendly membranes to treat and clean the seawater.
Engineering purpose-specific biodegradable membranes can help reduce the need for treatment of chemicals normally used in desalination.
The conference committee has scheduled a programme that aims to address the cutting-edge in desalination and water treatment and related techniques.
A series of state-of-the-art plenary presentations will also be presented by internationally-renowned experts.
These will be accompanied by breakout sessions of oral presentations. Poster presentations will also be organised for easy viewing during sessions, coffee breaks and lunch.
An associated exhibition will provide up-to-date information on commercially available support for the delegates’ line of work.