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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

Membrane processes for the next decades challenges in the water sector

Alternative title: Membran prosesser for det neste tiårs utfordringer i vannsektoren

Awarded: NOK 3.5 mill.

Membranes can be used to separate particles or/and ions from solutions, such as the production of drinking water from seawater. Recent technological developments have improved the technological and economic feasibility of the application of this concept in many other areas in water and wastewater treatment, like removal of colour from lake waters. The MEMPREX-I project (2015-2019) built a strong Virtual Membrane Center of Excellence at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in excellent collaboration with the leading research groups from the US, Canada, China and Japan. The network is attracting international/EU funding, increasing the mobility of student and staff, and increasing the visibility of NMBU?s as well as the MEMPREX team?s research in the international membrane arena. Partners noted the need and potential of membranes in solving the challenges in the water sector during phase I; (1) Membrane fouling and (2) high energy consumption which are still considered unsolved; (3) The anticipated revision of the EU Directives requiring the removal of emerging micro-pollutants. (4) Engage in digitalisation of the water industry while managing cybersecurity threats. (5) Potential for greater synergy was noted when performing non-traditional hybrid solutions. MEMPREX-II shall promote the involvement of graduate students in useful and highly sought-after research activities in the industry and end-users, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the young graduates in the job market. Thus the ambition is to guide the graduate students to choose research topics from the above mentioned 5 directions, while also strengthening the curricula and teaching tools. The ambition of the MEMPREX-II is to further develop the interdisciplinary research and educational collaboration established during phase I to a Virtual Membrane Excellence Network addressing the next decade's challenges in the water sector.

Membrane processes are increasingly applied in the water sector worldwide, but Norway is yet to embrace the technology. The relatively weaker national R&D capacities, high energy consumption, fouling and ageing of membranes are causing frequent replacements, and the dominance of conventional treatment methods are the main cause for this slower entrance. The MEMPREX-I project (2015-2019) built a strong Virtual Membrane Center of Excellence at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in excellent collaboration with the leading research groups from the US, Canada, China and Japan. The network is attracting international/EU funding, increasing the mobility of student and staff, and increasing the visibility of NMBU’s as well as the MEMPREX team’s research in the international membrane arena. Partners noted the need and potential of membranes in solving the challenges in the water sector during phase I; (1) Membrane fouling and (2) high energy consumption which are still considered unsolved; (3) The anticipated revision of the EU Directives requiring the removal of emerging micro-pollutants. (4) Engage in digitalisation of the water industry while managing cybersecurity threats. (5) Potential for greater synergy was noted when performing non-traditional hybrid solutions. MEMPREX-II shall promote the involvement of graduate students in useful and highly sought-after research activities in the industry and end-users, thereby increasing the attractiveness of the young graduates in the job market. Thus the ambition is to guide the graduate students to choose research topics from the above mentioned 5 directions, while also strengthening the curricula and teaching tools. The ambition of the MEMPREX-II is to further develop the interdisciplinary research and educational collaboration established during phase I to a Virtual Membrane Excellence Network addressing the next decade's challenges in the water sector.

Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research