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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Desalination Technology and Modelling (ENG601)

Organisational Unit Engineering and Energy
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit provides an in-depth, engineering introduction to the current practice of desalination as well as to emerging technologies in the field. Reverse osmosis (RO) is the primary focus as it is now and will be for the foreseeable future the largest means of desalinating water globally. In the RO discussion the student will become acquainted with the design and operation of modern RO installations. In addition, distillation and alternative membrane desalination technologies will be covered.
Unit Learning Outcomes The completion of this unit enables students to:
1. Understand the thermodynamic constraints, fundamental principles, performance metrics, and the scope of physical and chemical parameters encountered in desalination processes.
2. Analyse, synthesise, and quantitatively describe the alternative mechanisms and processes by which water is desalinated technologies.
3. Quantitatively model the energy and mass transport phenomena controlling reverse osmosis (RO) desalination.
4. Understand typical O&M issues with RO, including fouling, flow balancing, element selection, chemical attack.
5. Investigate, analyse, and synthesise membrane desalination data of performance metrics and subsequently derive operational recommendations based on the synthesis.
6. Prepare the basic pre-treatment, RO desalination, and concentrate disposal design for a typical feedwater and application setting.
7. Understand and develop basic quantitative models for the energy and mass transfer controlling forward osmosis, membrane distillation, and multi-effect distillation processes for desalination.
8. Propose and support creative technical innovations to meet desalination issues in the news and generate hypothetical but possible methodologies for their implementation.
9. Utilize the technical information, theory, and concepts from RO operation and critically determine its applicability to other membrane desalination processes, both with and without phase changes.
10. Communicate the technical methods and theories of desalination technologies and their relative environmental utility and impacts to technical and non-technical audiences.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2 hours per week; workshops 1 hour per week.
Unit Learning Experiences * Significance, inter-relationships, and analytical measurement of performance metrics in desalination.
* Development of basic simulation algorithms describing energy flows and materials balances in a membrane and a phase change desalination process.
* Component and operational design of a RO desalination process based on feed water, product water, energy and environmental, and manufacturer specifications.
* Acquaintance with real world RO performance data and process enhancement and troubleshooting based on such information.
* Familiarization with relative pre-treatment capabilities and limitations and with options for residuals management.
* Familiarization and basic performance quantification for the relative capabilities and limitations of electrodialysis, forward osmosis, membrane distillation, MED and MSF, and capacitive deionization for desalination.
* Chemical reagents and materials utilized in desalination processes.
* Investigating and critically evaluating recent trends, innovations, and concerns in desalination.
Assessment The learning and assessment strategies are based on the student's understanding and facility in using
chemical equilibrium principles and simulation tools to understand the major aqueous speciation in natural water systems and to design appropriate chemical water treatment technologies to meet specified objectives. Therefore, in assessments students must provide the rationale and quantitative calculations the aqueous speciation before and after chemical perturbations in basic aqueous systems.
Individual and teamwork solutions to aqueous chemistry problems will be used. Verbal feedback by tutors during
problem solving sessions is available to improve the assessed tasks.
Prerequisites Successful completion of ENG507 Environmental Water Chemistry and ENG510 Physicochemical Water Treatment Operations (or their equivalent with permission from the unit coordinator).
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Water Treatment and Desalination
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Linda Li

e: L.Li@murdoch.edu.au
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Linda Li

e: L.Li@murdoch.edu.au
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