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Regeneration of industrial wastewater using membrane processes

KU Leuven University

1 or 2 semesters

Project description

Water scarcity is one of the main upcoming problems in industrialized as well as developing countries, due to fast population increases and economic growth. This makes it necessary to exploit the available water sources in a sustainable way. One of the options to consider is the regeneration of industrial wastewater. Membrane processes have often been suggested as possible tools to achieve this, although a hybrid approach with other technologies such as fluidized bed crystallization may enhance the feasibility of membrane separations. In this project a framework will be developed to understand the possibilities for wastewater regeneration in the industry, based on the composition of the wastewater, the separation characteristics of membrane processes and hybrid processes (a variety of processes can be proposed), and the required quality. It will be attempted to generalize this approach towards a methodology or a decision matrix that can be used in a multitude of applications. Simultaneously, regeneration of wastewater from a number of representative industries (e.g., textile industry, food industry, chemical industry) will be examined experimentally for (mainly) pressure driven membrane processes.

The project is available in the Fall and Spring semester.

Number of places available: 2 per semester.

Faculty Department

Chemical Engineering Department, research group ProcESS (Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems).

The Chemical Engineering Department is the largest research department in Belgium in the field of chemical technology. In Belgium, the chemical industry plays an utmost important role. This industry represents more than 20% of the turnover of the Belgian Industry as a whole and of the total export of the country. The zone surrounding Antwerp is the second largest petrochemical complex in the world. This all is, among others, due to the availability of well trained engineers. They are the chairmen of the Flemish companies, responsible for maintaining their capacity and for innovation and growth in a changing social economic context. To maintain this important competitive advantage, high level scientific research about chemical technology is required, as well as in-depth education and training of civil engineers. 

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