PhD Candidate Ahmad Kayvani Fard

Committee: International Scientific Committee of Energy and Power Engineering
University: Qatar Energy and Environment Research institute
Department: Energy Science
Research Fields: membrane distillation, waste heat, seawater desalination, membrane, freshwater, direct contact membrane distillation,

Publications

2 An Investigation into the Potential of Industrial Low Grade Heat in Membrane Distillation for Freshwater Production

Authors: Yehia Manawi, Ahmad Kayvani Fard

Abstract:

Membrane distillation is an emerging technology which has been used to produce freshwater and purify different types of aqueous mixtures. Qatar is an arid country where almost 100% of its freshwater demand is supplied through the energy-intensive thermal desalination process. The country’s need for water has reached an all-time high which stipulates finding an alternative way to augment freshwater without adding any drastic affect to the environment. The objective of this paper was to investigate the potential of using the industrial low grade waste heat to produce freshwater using membrane distillation. The main part of this work was conducting a heat audit on selected Qatari chemical industries to estimate the amounts of freshwater produced if such industrial waste heat were to be recovered. By the end of this work, the main objective was met and the heat audit conducted on the Qatari chemical industries enabled us to estimate both the amounts of waste heat which can be potentially recovered in addition to the amounts of freshwater which can be produced if such waste heat were to be recovered.

By the end, the heat audit showed that around 605 Mega Watts of waste heat can be recovered from the studied Qatari chemical industries which resulted in a total daily production of 5078.7 cubic meter of freshwater.

This water can be used in a wide variety of applications such as human consumption or industry. The amount of produced freshwater may look small when compared to that produced through thermal desalination plants; however, one must bear in mind that this water comes from waste and can be used to supply water for small cities or remote areas which are not connected to the water grid. The idea of producing freshwater from the two widely-available wastes (thermal rejected brine and waste heat) seems promising as less environmental and economic impacts will be associated with freshwater production which may in the near future augment the conventional way of producing freshwater currently being thermal desalination. This work has shown that low grade waste heat in the chemical industries in Qatar and perhaps the rest of the world can contribute to additional production of freshwater using membrane distillation without significantly adding to the environmental impact.

Keywords: Environment, Desalination, Membrane distillation, Heat recovery

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1 Seawater Desalination for Production of Highly Pure Water Using a Hydrophobic PTFE Membrane and Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD)

Authors: Yehia Manawi, Ahmad Kayvani Fard

Abstract:

Qatar’s primary source of fresh water is through seawater desalination. Amongst the major processes that are commercially available on the market, the most common large scale techniques are Multi-Stage Flash distillation (MSF), Multi Effect distillation (MED), and Reverse Osmosis (RO). Although commonly used, these three processes are highly expensive down to high energy input requirements and high operating costs allied with maintenance and stress induced on the systems in harsh alkaline media. Beside that cost, environmental footprint of these desalination techniques are significant; from damaging marine eco-system, to huge land use, to discharge of tons of GHG and huge carbon footprint. Other less energy consuming techniques based on membrane separation are being sought to reduce both the carbon footprint and operating costs is membrane distillation (MD). Emerged in 1960s, MD is an alternative technology for water desalination attracting more attention since 1980s. MD process involves the evaporation of a hot feed, typically below boiling point of brine at standard conditions, by creating a water vapor pressure difference across the porous, hydrophobic membrane. Main advantages of MD compared to other commercially available technologies (MSF and MED) and specially RO are reduction of membrane and module stress due to absence of trans-membrane pressure, less impact of contaminant fouling on distillate due to transfer of only water vapor, utilization of low grade or waste heat from oil and gas industries to heat up the feed up to required temperature difference across the membrane, superior water quality, and relatively lower capital and operating cost. To achieve the objective of this study, state of the art flat-sheet cross-flow DCMD bench scale unit was designed, commissioned, and tested. The objective of this study is to analyze the characteristics and morphology of the membrane suitable for DCMD through SEM imaging and contact angle measurement and to study the water quality of distillate produced by DCMD bench scale unit. Comparison with available literature data is undertaken where appropriate and laboratory data is used to compare a DCMD distillate quality with that of other desalination techniques and standards. Membrane SEM analysis showed that the PTFE membrane used for the study has contact angle of 127º with highly porous surface supported with less porous and bigger pore size PP membrane. Study on the effect of feed solution (salinity) and temperature on water quality of distillate produced from ICP and IC analysis showed that with any salinity and different feed temperature (up to 70ºC) the electric conductivity of distillate is less than 5 μS/cm with 99.99% salt rejection and proved to be feasible and effective process capable of consistently producing high quality distillate from very high feed salinity solution (i.e. 100000 mg/L TDS) even with substantial quality difference compared to other desalination methods such as RO and MSF.

Keywords: Membrane distillation, Freshwater, Waste Heat, Membrane, Seawater Desalination, Direct Contact Membrane Distillation

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Abstracts

2 Application of Nanoparticles on Surface of Commercial Carbon-Based Adsorbent for Removal of Contaminants from Water

Authors: Ahmad Kayvani Fard, Gordon Mckay, Muataz Hussien

Abstract:

Adsorption/sorption is believed to be one of the optimal processes for the removal of heavy metals from water due to its low operational and capital cost as well as its high removal efficiency. Different materials have been reported in literature as adsorbent for heavy metal removal in waste water such as natural sorbents, organic polymers (synthetic) and mineral materials (inorganic). The selection of adsorbents and development of new functional materials that can achieve good removal of heavy metals from water is an important practice and depends on many factors, such as the availability of the material, cost of material, and material safety and etc. In this study we reported the synthesis of doped Activated carbon and Carbon nanotube (CNT) with different loading of metal oxide nanoparticles such as Fe2O3, Fe3O4, Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2 and Ag nanoparticles and their application in removal of heavy metals, hydrocarbon, and organics from waste water. Commercial AC and CNT with different loadings of mentioned nanoparticle were prepared and effect of pH, adsorbent dosage, sorption kinetic, and concentration effects are studied and optimum condition for removal of heavy metals from water is reported. The prepared composite sorbent is characterized using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), high transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), the Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) nitrogen adsorption technique, and Zeta potential. The composite materials showed higher removal efficiency and superior adsorption capacity compared to commercially available carbon based adsorbent. The specific surface area of AC increased by 50% reaching up to 2000 m2/g while the CNT specific surface area of CNT increased by more than 8 times reaching value of 890 m2/g. The increased surface area is one of the key parameters along with surface charge of the material determining the removal efficiency and removal efficiency. Moreover, the surface charge density of the impregnated CNT and AC have enhanced significantly where can benefit the adsorption process. The nanoparticles also enhance the catalytic activity of material and reduce the agglomeration and aggregation of material which provides more active site for adsorbing the contaminant from water. Some of the results for treating wastewater includes 100% removal of BTEX, arsenic, strontium, barium, phenolic compounds, and oil from water. The results obtained are promising for the use of AC and CNT loaded with metal oxide nanoparticle in treatment and pretreatment of waste water and produced water before desalination process. Adsorption can be very efficient with low energy consumption and economic feasibility.

Keywords: Water Treatment, Adsorption, Carbon Nanotube, heavy metal, activated carbon

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1 Seawater Desalination for Production of Highly Pure Water Using a Hydrophobic PTFE Membrane and Direct Contact Membrane Distillation (DCMD)

Authors: Yehia Manawi, Ahmad Kayvani Fard

Abstract:

Qatar’s primary source of fresh water is through seawater desalination. Amongst the major processes that are commercially available on the market, the most common large scale techniques are Multi-Stage Flash distillation (MSF), Multi Effect distillation (MED), and Reverse Osmosis (RO). Although commonly used, these three processes are highly expensive down to high energy input requirements and high operating costs allied with maintenance and stress induced on the systems in harsh alkaline media. Beside that cost, environmental footprint of these desalination techniques are significant; from damaging marine eco-system, to huge land use, to discharge of tons of GHG and huge carbon footprint. Other less energy consuming techniques based on membrane separation are being sought to reduce both the carbon footprint and operating costs is membrane distillation (MD). Emerged in 1960s, MD is an alternative technology for water desalination attracting more attention since 1980s. MD process involves the evaporation of a hot feed, typically below boiling point of brine at standard conditions, by creating a water vapor pressure difference across the porous, hydrophobic membrane. Main advantages of MD compared to other commercially available technologies (MSF and MED) and specially RO are reduction of membrane and module stress due to absence of trans-membrane pressure, less impact of contaminant fouling on distillate due to transfer of only water vapor, utilization of low grade or waste heat from oil and gas industries to heat up the feed up to required temperature difference across the membrane, superior water quality, and relatively lower capital and operating cost. To achieve the objective of this study, state of the art flat-sheet cross-flow DCMD bench scale unit was designed, commissioned, and tested. The objective of this study is to analyze the characteristics and morphology of the membrane suitable for DCMD through SEM imaging and contact angle measurement and to study the water quality of distillate produced by DCMD bench scale unit. Comparison with available literature data is undertaken where appropriate and laboratory data is used to compare a DCMD distillate quality with that of other desalination techniques and standards. Membrane SEM analysis showed that the PTFE membrane used for the study has contact angle of 127º with highly porous surface supported with less porous and bigger pore size PP membrane. Study on the effect of feed solution (salinity) and temperature on water quality of distillate produced from ICP and IC analysis showed that with any salinity and different feed temperature (up to 70ºC) the electric conductivity of distillate is less than 5 μS/cm with 99.99% salt rejection and proved to be feasible and effective process capable of consistently producing high quality distillate from very high feed salinity solution (i.e. 100000 mg/L TDS) even with substantial quality difference compared to other desalination methods such as RO and MSF.

Keywords: Membrane distillation, Freshwater, Waste Heat, Seawater Desalination, Membrane, direct contact membrane distillation

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