The Department of Desalination & Water Treatment investigates various aspects of desalination and treatment of different kinds of water for recycling, including:
- Improvement and development of new membranes and processes for reverse osmosis, forward osmosis, and nanofiltration in desalination and treatment of various types of wastewater and urban effluents after tertiary treatment
- Study and control of phenomena (scaling and biofouling) that can negatively impact membrane-based water treatment processes
- In-situ sensing and monitoring of membrane processes
- Collective motion of colloids and bacteria in water treatment systems
- Development of hybrid processes to eliminate toxic substances from industrial effluents and polluted groundwater
- Understanding the transport mechanisms in low-pressure desalination systems (reverse osmosis and nanofiltration) and electromembrane processes (Donnan dialysis and electrodialysis)
- Improvement of materials used in water treatment membranes
- High recovery desalination and brine concentrate management
- Efficient techniques for reuse of urban effluents
- Improvement of electrodialysis processes for desalination of brackish water and for use in industry
The researchers, all members of BGU's academic staff, teach the following variety of subjects in various departments at BGU: treatment and recovery of sewage, water resources management, desalination of seawater and brackish water by reverse osmosis and electrodialysis, nanofiltration techniques, treatment of wastewater and effluents, membrane technology and maintenance, reactor engineering for environmental applications.
Faculty members join forces to teach the graduate program in Hydrology and Water Quality developed at the ZIWR, and offered by the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies (AKIS). All faculty members participate in teaching and supervision of graduate students at AKIS, and relevant faculties at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Teaching activities of the department will include utilization of the Pilot Plant on the Sede Boqer Campus for practical training.
Future development program
The department's future development program includes extension of the Pilot Plant for Desalination and Water Treatment for teaching, an intensification of surface science studies as applied to water treatment, research and development applications, and the introduction of new research disciplines while strengthening existing disciplines in the fields of membrane polymer-organic chemistry for water treatment, physical chemistry of polymers, engineering of desalination and water treatment processes.