Water. desalination + reuse

May/June 2013

Water. Desalination + reuse

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AMTA/AWWA MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE REVIEW JoInT confeRence & eXPosITIon l 25-28 feBRUARY 2013 l sAn AnTonIo, TeXAs, UsA San Antonio bodes well for Las Vegas next year _________ Robin Wiseman, editor, D&WR ___ With over 1,000 attendees at the joint Membrane Technology Conference & Exposition held in San Antonio in February 2013 by the American Membrane Technology Association (AMTA) and the American Water Works Association, it is no surprise that the two bodies have agreed to extend their joint venture for another year. The 2014 Membrane Technology Convention & Exhibition will be held on 10‑13 March 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A call for papers has been issued with a deadline of 30 June 2013. Originally, the two associations had agreement for two years. This has now been extended for the 2014 event, while they work on a new agreement for future years. The conference attracted 1,078 attendees from 33 countries and six continents, hosting 98 exhibitor booths and exceeding last year's conference by every measure. According to AMTAs Greg Watterau, attendee feedback from the conference was very positive, including kudos on the idyllic location along the city's River Walk, the top‑notch quality of the technical program, and the amusing comedy play written and directed by Ben Movahed. PReconfeRence WoRkshoPs Unfortunately, one of the preconference workshops had to be cancelled, but the other four were well attended. The one on Low and Renewable Energy Trends in Seawater/Brackish Water Desalination provided an excellent review of this up‑ and‑coming topic. The workshop had assembled an international cast of speakers, including Samer Adham from Qatar's Global Water Sustainability Center, Linda Zhou from the University of South Australia and Gary Amy and Thomas Missimer from the King Abdullah University of Science & Technology in Saudi Arabia. The audience of about 35 was updated on the state of play of techniques such as forward osmosis (FO), membrane distillation (MD), capacitive deionization (CDI), microbial desalination cells (MDC) and combined cycle solar and geothermal powered desalination. As the workshop proceeded, it became clear that none of these techniques is ready yet to fully take on the commercial world, but many of them indicated that given time and the right application they will take their place alongside or even instead of existing popular technologies. FO is the best publicised of the new generation and Amy Childers of the University of Nevada, Reno, focused on the pressure‑retarded (PRO) version of FO, and its best‑known implementation as a source of renewable energy. Talking about the Statkraft installation in Norway which uses the salinity differential between river and seawater to create energy, Childers said that today's systems only created a power density of around 2W/m², whereas what was required was nearer 8W/m². She was looking forward to a pilot‑scale PRO test which will take place soon at the Alamagordo test centre in New Mexico. Dr Samer Adham spoke about trials with membrane distillation using low‑ grade heat in Qatar. Five manufacturers had been invited to bid, with Scarab and Memsys eventually chosen to design pilot units at the Ras Abu Fontas desalination plant. Again, performance ratios for this technology are still only around half of what would be commercially required, said Adham. | 40 | Desalination & Water Reuse | May-June 2013 Toray's Lynne Gulizia, a member of the conference planning committ John Kiernan, as the pilot, and Karen Lindsey as the flight attendant l tendering for municipalities. Linda Zhou, whose work has recently been featured in D&WR, described the use of graphene electrodes for CDI, while Bruce Logan from Penn State University

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