BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, August 19, 2009 — Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are developing technology to scale up a novel method for achieving very high recoveries in desalination by reverse osmosis to be used in a Jordanian desalinization plant.
The team, lead by Dr. Jack Gilron of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) and Prof. Eli Korin of the Department of Chemical Engineering, has developed a method of exploiting the finite kinetics of membrane fouling processes by periodically changing the conditions leading to membrane fouling before it can occur. The team was recently awarded grants from the NATO Science for Peace program and the Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC).
Working in collaboration with colleagues from University of Colorado and the Hashemite University of Jordan, the group will be developing technology and setting up pilot facilities to produce ~120 m3/day (31,000 gallons) at desalination sites in Israel and in Jordan. Dr. Gilron explains that “the process will be tuned to reduce brine volumes to 33-50 percent of those generated in conventional reverse osmosis. This greatly reduces the environmental burden and improves the economics of the inland desalination process.”
Gilron continues, “Water scarcity and the need to develop new water resources for populations not on the seacoasts are driving efforts to desalinate brackish water and municipal wastewater with ever-increasing efficiencies.”
Related to the above development, BGN Technologies — the University’s technology transfer company and the ATI (Ashkelon Technology Incubator) Cleantech Group have established a new company, ROTEC (Reverse Osmosis Technologies) to commercialize the technology. Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, selected ROTEC as one of a handful of promising companies in which it invests R&D funding to help promote novel water treatment technologies worldwide and in Israel.
The Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research is part of BGU’s Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, recognized internationally as a leading scientific institute in arid zone research.
ROTEC (Reverse Osmosis Technologies) is a water treatment company that develops novel technologies to improve desalination processes of brackish groundwater. For more information, www.rotec-water.com
About Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and American Associates
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a world-renowned institute of research and higher learning with some 19,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel’s southern desert. It is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. For more information, please visit www.aabgu.org.