Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Sandooq Al Watan, the private sector initiative to boost the UAE’s social development, announced on Monday a shared sponsored research agreement to collaborate on developing direct solar desalination devices.
The project, dubbed Direct Solar Desalination Devices, “aims to build scientific understanding around achieving a reliable desalination technology which offers high efficiency, large scalable capacity, and low energy consumption,” reported Dubai state news agency Wam.
Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said in a press release: "The research collaboration validates our commitment to effectively address the water-energy nexus challenges through finding clean energy solutions.
"Additionally, this partnership will pave way for our students to work on research in desalination technologies, which remains one of the most important avenues to access water – a scare resource in our region."
Mohamed Al Qadi, director-general of Sandooq Al Watan, said: "This is an extremely important project that will address two big priorities for the UAE. First, the use of renewable energy to desalinate water will significantly reduce the UAE’s carbon footprint and enable us to advance our climate change agenda. Second, the project will help advance our water security agenda by providing the nation with resilient fresh water supplies.”
The project will be led by principal investigators Dr Faisal Abdulla AlMarzooqi, assistant professor, chemical engineering, associated with Khalifa University’s Centre for Membranes and Advanced Water Technology, and Dr Tiejun Zhang, associate professor, mechanical and materials engineering.
The professors will work together with a team of MSc students, research associates and postdoctoral fellows, while the research project will open up three internship opportunities for UAE national students.
The desalination market, valued at $16.4billion in 2017, is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5 percent during the 2018-2026 period, according to market intelligence firm, Research and Markets.