Water Security Research | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Water Security Research

This research portfolio focuses on enhancing the sustainability of water resources in Qatar and beyond by providing scientific and technological solutions for energy- efficient water desalination, wastewater treatment for safe discharge and reuse, and groundwater mapping for best options of aquifer recharge.

SUMMARY OF RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

The water portfolio team supported Qatar's National Development Strategy (2017-2022) through technical consultancy, drafting water chapters in collaboration with relevant governmental authorities including Kahramaa, Ashghal, Ministry of Municipality and Environment and Qatar Petroleum.

    • The team developed a 3D geological model based on structural geology, steady state groundwater flow model for the entire country and estimated the natural rainfall recharge and water balance.
    • Monitoring the quality of Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) and seawater have been performed and the obtained data have been used for developing new materials for efficient removal of targeted pollutants and optimizing water treatment processes.
    • The team developed novel sorbents and polymeric/inorganic membranes with high efficiencies and/or economic feasibilities, including development of advanced nanomaterials based on modified activated carbon, montmorillonite, graphene and MXene.
    • The team has been working on increasing the efficiency of water desalination and improving the feed seawater quality by implementing novel pre-treatment processes.
    • The team has also made great progress on utilizing TSE in district cooling, as part of national water sustainability efforts. QEERI designed and commissioned an integrated TSE Pilot Plant that combines conventional and advanced oxidation processes.
    • Innovative processes based on micro/nanostructured materials have been developed for fast, efficient and economic separation of emulsified oil/water mixtures. A prototype has been designed and developed for treating produced water.
    • The team finished the installation and commissioning of Reverse Osmosis, Ultrafiltration, lon Exchange and Air Floatation pilot units at QEERI.
    • The team completed the Process Design and Simulation of advanced Multi-Effect Desalination (MED) pilot plant.

 

Water Quality and Monitoring

Water Quality and Monitoring Pillar focuses on the quality of different sources of water at ultra­ trace concentrations of potential contaminants and their metabolites and species in Qatar. The pillar introduces basic and advanced understanding of groundwater systems through hydrological studies supported by modelling; and application of sophisticated methods of radar mapping and satellite imagining.

ADVANCED MATERIALS FOR DESALINATION AND WATER TREATMENT

Material Pillar deals with design and fabrication of novel-efficient cost effective materials with improved properties for water treatment and desalination in Qatar. The research focuses on development of novel adsorbents and polymer/inorganic membranes based on modified activated carbon, montmorillonite, graphene and MXene nanomaterials with advanced performance, sorption capacity, and low fouling capabilities. 

Process Development and Optimization

Process Development and Optimization Pillar focuses on improving existing water desalination and treatment technologies as well as developing novel technologies, in order to address the issues highlighted by the monitoring pillar, through using commercial and in-house (by materials pillar) materials.