Swansea University experts’ important work published in prestigious journal

Four academics from The Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (CWATER) at Swansea University have had four ‘state of the art reviews’ published in a special issue of the international journal Desalination.

The special issue consists of 23 contributions from international researchers renowned in the field. It is edited by Professor Nidal Hilal, the director of CWATER at Swansea University and the editor-in-chief of Desalination.

Water image

With pressure increasing on our limited water resources and more people requiring clean water, effective solutions need to come from reusing water in the most efficient way. The Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (CWATER), College of Engineering at Swansea University is an internationally leading centre of excellence for the development of advanced technologies in water treatment. The Centre benefits from world-leading expertise in the areas of desalination and membrane technologies for water treatment.

Professor Nidal Hilal, Dr Darren Oatley-Radcliffe, Dr Daniel Johnson and Dr Victor Kochkodan of Swansea University from the (CWATER) team have been looking at membranes as filtration devices.

Filtration is a mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by interposing a medium to fluid flow through which the fluid can pass, but the solids (or at least part of the solids) in the fluid are retained.

Filtration image

The reviews include the development of novel new generation membranes including film composite membranes and nanofiltration membranes, commercially modified membranes resistant to (bio)fouling and  Characterisation and Quantification of Membrane Surface Properties using Atomic Force Microscopy; a technique developed by Swansea University.


Professor Nidal Hilal said: “Continuing population growth and urbanization as well as rapid industrialization are putting huge pressure on global water demand and resulting in an alarming scenario where accessible fresh water supply is no longer matching the patterns of these developments. Desalination has long served as a feasible option to provide safe drinking water in many deserted areas, coastal regions or remote locations.

“Despite its versatility in tackling water scarcity, desalination has been unfavourably addressed as the most energy-intensive water treatment technology with undesirable consequences in terms of high economic cost and energy requirements. While the applications of thermal distillation desalination technologies have been restricted by their high power consumption and consequently rather prohibitive, membrane-based desalination has been widely promoted as the key and mainstream desalination technology.

“With their outstanding attributes for desalination, membrane desalination technology holds undoubtful potential to bridge and connect the dots to battle key issues regarding the current and future water gaps. Having four of our reviews published in this state of the art special issue demonstrate our leading position in this field.  The Chemical Engineering research at Swansea University is considered to be internationally leading in membrane separation. “

The four comprehensive reviews are:

1. ‘Characterisation and Quantification of Membrane Surface Properties using Atomic Force Microscopy:  a Comprehensive Review’  by D.. J. Johnson and N. Hilal. Available at  Desalination,special issue on state-of-the-art reviews. Volume 356(2015)149-164.DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2014.08.019.

2.  ‘A comprehensive review on surface modified membranes for bio fouling mitigation’  by V. Kochkodan and N. Hilal. Desalination,special issue on state-of-the-art reviews. Volume 356(2015)187-207.    DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2014.09.015.

3.  ‘Nanofiltration Membranes Review: Recent Advances and Future Prospects’ by  A. W. Mohammad, Y.H. Teow, W.L. Ang, Y.T. Chung, D.L. Oatley- Radcliffe, N. Hilal.  Desalination,special issue on state-of-the-art reviews. Volume 356(2015)226-254.DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2014.10.043.

4. ‘Thin film composite membrane — Recent development and future potential’ by A.F. Ismail, M. Padaki,  N. Hilal, T. Matsuura, W.J. Lau.Desalination.special issue on state-of-the-art reviews. Volume 356(2015)140-148.DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2014.10.042.

For more information about The Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research (CWATER) at Swansea University, College of Engineering  go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/cwater