Area of research:
Diploma & Master Thesis
The position is suitable for part-time employment.
Decentralized directly coupled photovoltaic-powered Nanofiltrration/Reverse Osmosis (PV-NF/RO) systems are a promising solution for groundwater desalination in off-grid rural areas such as developing countries. In such systems, mineral scaling developing on membranes is a common challenge that results in loss of membrane performance and an increase in energy consumption. On the other hand, solar irradiance fluctuations cause non steady state operations that lead to the occurrence of direct osmotic backwash (OB). OB is a potential self-cleaning method to mitigate scaling and maintain membrane performance. The impact of OB on scaling during the solar irradiance fluctuations is to date unclear and will be the main purpose of this study.
The aim of this project is to carry out a range of scaling and OB experiments under variable solar irradiance fluctuation conditions to evaluate the cleaning effectiveness of OB as a self-cleaning method for mineral scaling.
The following specific tasks will be performed as part of the project:
Literature review on the topic (membrane scaling, cleaning methods for scaling, direct osmotic backwash mechanism, photovoltaic powered membrane system, etc.).Prepare scaling solutions and perform scaling and OB experiments with a lab-scale macro cross-flow system powered by a solar array simulator (SAS).Perform membrane autopsy (scanning electron microscope, deposited mass analysis) after scaling experiments to evaluate the cleaning effectiveness of OB.Analyze experimental data and write/co-author a research publication (in English).