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Professor Long Nghiem

School of Civil Mining and Environmental Engineering
University of Wollongong, NSW 2522

Office: 61-2-4221-4590 - Fax: 61-2-4221-3238 - Email: longn@uow.edu.au




Field of expertise
Removal of trace contaminants by NF/RO membranes; Membrane fouling and autopsy study; Non-potable and Indirect potable water reuse; Membrane bioreactors; Membrane extraction

NF/RO membranes

NF/RO membrane filtration has emerged as a technology of choice in the water industry. It has numerous advantages over conventional treatment technology. These include small footprint, low or almost zero chemical consumption, capability to upscale and retrofit to existing facility with ease or to combine with other treatment processes to maximise treatment efficiency, and most of all, superior product water quality. Over the time, problematic technical and economical drawbacks associated with membrane technology such as membrane fouling, energy consumption, and limited membrane lifetime have been progressively addressed. Consequently, the size and number of membrane filtration applications in the water industry have sky-rocked over the last few years. Although the shear phenomenal development in such a short time makes it difficult to determine whether membrane filtration is truly a mature or still an emerging technology, it is certain that membrane technology is facing a new challenge, which is the elimination of emerging water and wastewater contaminants. The objectives of this research area are to comprehensively udnerstand the underlining phenomena involved in the removal of trace contaminants by NF/RO membranes and subsequently to accurately evaluate and model the removal efficiency under various conditions.

Membrane fouling & Autopsy study

A problematic and yet inevitable issue encountered in almost any membrane filtration plant is membrane fouling. Fouling often results in a severe productivity loss, premature module replacement and sometimes variation in treated water quality (membrane retention). Research activities in this area aim to examine and elucidate fouling mechanisms and behaviours with a particular focus on the application of membrane filtration for water reuse. Membrane autopsy has been demonstrated to be an excellent tool for the control and mitigation of fouling.

Membrane bioreactors (MBRs)

It has been widely recognised that membrane bioreactors (MBRs), which combine membrane filtration and biological process for wastewater treatment, can play a major role in the production of high quality reclaimed water suitable for a wide range of water reuse applications. Although becoming commercially available only more than ten years ago, the technology has been well proven and can provide a superior removal efficiency over many other conventional processes for most basic water quality indicators such as pathogens, suspended solids and nutrient. However, despite the increasing number of studies and full-scale applications of MBRs system, further research efforts are still required. One particular challenge is the need to better understand the performance of MBR with respect to the removal of trace organic contaminants.

Polymer Inclusion Membranes (PIMs)

The stability of polymer inclusion membranes (PIMs) relative to other liquid membranes is amongst the major reasons for the recent rejuvenation of interest in carrier-mediated transport for selective separation and recovery of metal ions as well as numerous organic solutes. This is reflected by an increasing number of PIM investigations reported in the literature over the last two decades. Given the outstanding performance of PIMs compared to other types of liquid membranes particularly in terms of membrane lifetime, it has been predicted that practical industrial applications of PIMs will be realized in the near future.

First created:14/06/2007 - Last updated: 27/12/2012.
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