Microbial desalination and recycling of reverse osmosis membranes, candidates for the Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination

Published On: October 6, 2023

Microbial desalination and reverse osmosis membrane recycling, nominees for the Global Desalination Innovation Prize

Dr Juan Manuel Ortiz and Dr Junkal Landaburu have received recognition in the framework of the Global Prize for Innovation in Desalination (GPID) with two projects aimed to solve crucial problems in the field. The Prize ceremony was held during the Innovation Driven Desalination Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 1-3 October 2023. The award is sponsored by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and major Saudi desalination companies.

The inventions that have been nominated are, respectively, Dr Ortiz’s microbial desalination technology for fresh water production with low energy (MDC) and Dr Landaburu’s transformation of disposed reverse osmosis (RO) membranes into recycled ultra and nanofiltration membranes.

These technologies seek to meet the desalination industry’s environmental goals, by reducing energy consumption, minimize capital and operational costs. Thus, Microbial Desalination (MIDES project) have developed the World’s largest demonstrator of an innovative and low-energy technology for drinking water production, using MDC technology and requiring less than 0.5 kWh/m3.

On the other hand, the transformation of disposed RO membranes into recycled ultra and nanofiltration ones diminishes the adverse impacts caused by the disposal of thousands of tonnes per annum of RO membranes modules.

The award is sponsored by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and leading Saudi desalination companies; its aim is to promote innovative solutions in the desalination industry and support its applications, in line with the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030. More than a hundred participants have attended this call, including research centers and universities, entrepreneurs and representatives from local, regional and global companies.

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