Posted on October 25, 2011

Qatar University (QU) co-signed a research agreement with ConocoPhillips (COP) Water Technology Ltd, the operating company of the Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC), a co-venture between ConocoPhillips and GE Power and Water.

The agreement entitled "Evaluation of Membrane Distillation to Augment Water Production from Thermal Desalination Brines by Leveraging Low Grade Waste Heat", aims to develop a new desalination process based on membrane distillation.

The project, which will be funded by COP, will involve collaboration between QU Department of Chemical Engineering at the College of Engineering (CENG) and the Global Water Sustainability Center (GWSC) at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), with Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) and Kahramaa providing advisory and technical support. Per the agreement, QEWC will provide access to its facilities while Kahramaa will advise on the introduction of new water desalination technologies in Qatar.

QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad and COP Qatar President CEO Erec Isaacson with QWSC Director Dr Samer Adham and QU VP for Research Dr Hassan Al-Derham (in background)

QU research team will be led by head of the Department of Chemical Engineering Prof Farid Benyahia, and will include associate professor in chemical engineering Dr Majeda Khraisheh as co-investigator. Engineers Yahya Menawey and Ahmed Fard will be research assistants on the project and will also benefit from ConocoPhillips scholarships for the Master's in Environmental Engineering recently established at QU. The COP investigating team will be led by GWSC Director Dr Samer Adham.

Commenting on the agreement, VP of Research Dr Hassan Al Derham said: "This collaborative project between Qatar University, ConocoPhillips, QEWC and Kahramaa underlines the spirit of cooperation between partners who share a solid commitment to addressing the needs of the community at large. This project will ultimately benefit Qatar society in line with the stated goals expressed in Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016".

GWSC Director Dr Samer Adham said: "This collaborative brings together leading industrial and educational entities in the country cooperating towards fostering the cause of a knowledge-based society on the foundation of science and innovation. The advisory panel of experts from QEWC and Kahramaa will be working with the investigating teams at Qatar University and GWSC to make sure the outcome of the project is of the desired quality for the intended usage".

COP Qatar President Erec Isaacson stated: "On behalf of ConocoPhillips and our GWSC co-venture partners in GE Power and Water, I would like to express our happiness at starting this new initiative with the distinguished Qatar University, in collaboration with Kahramaa and QEWC. We sincerely hope that the outcome of this team's work will benefit the State of Qatar as well as our industry worldwide. Most importantly, it will help show chemical engineering students at Qatar University the importance of combining academic knowledge with laboratory work and applied field studies and research, with the aim of achieving concrete industrial goals".

source: Ameinfo