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Desalination Centre’s fourth funding round has now opened for Expressions of Interest

The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) has a mandate to optimise and adapt desalination technology for Australia, develop solutions for inland areas, and reduce the carbon footprint of desalination through investment in a portfolio of research projects.

This fourth funding round will continue to grow the Centre’s research portfolio with both fundamental and applied research in five areas aligned to the Australian Desalination Research Roadmap:

  • Pre-treatment,
  • Reverse osmosis desalting,
  • Novel desalting,
  • Concentrate management, and
  • Social, economic and environmental issues.

Only Centre Participating Organisations who are signatories to the Collaboration Agreement are eligible for participation in Funding Round 4 as Project Leaders.

These members comprise:

  • Murdoch University
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Curtin University of Technology
  • Deakin University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Flinders University
  • Monash University
  • The University of New South Wales
  • The University of Queensland
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • Victoria University
  • The University of Western Australia
  • University of Wollongong

Any organisation is eligible to participate in a project as a Research Participant, however only the members listed above may lead projects and submit Expressions Of Interest (EOI).

Unlike earlier open Funding Rounds that sought research on any Roadmap topic, this fourth funding round is primarily seeking projects targeted at gaps in the Roadmap topics. Roadmap topics under-represented in the Centre’s research portfolio comprise:

  • Operational optimisation; e.g. long-term improvement of desalination performance
  • Novel zero liquid discharge processes; e.g. concentrate minimisation
  • Novel technologies including those for direct agricultural use; e.g. reverse osmosis in novel food production applications such as grains and horticulture with consideration of the food-energy-water nexus; and treatment of difficult water in a mining or industrial context
  • Coupling water production with renewable energy
  • Piloting breakthrough near-commercial desalination technologies in real-world situations; e.g. novel and disruptive applied technologies
  • Total life cycle analysis and sustainability assessment of desalination against other water sources; e.g. economic analysis of SWRO operation and integration with traditional water supply

Further information.

The Centre also invites industry to propose projects that address their needs and which could be solved through collaborative research. Some suggested projects related to seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plants include:

SWRO CONCENTRATE RETURN – Collation of performance data
To assess existing performance data and to provide a more consistent approach to toxicity testing of concentrate, with the view to developing a national guideline.

SWRO CONCENTRATE RETURN – Develop improved methods for toxicological assessment
To build on existing studies and assess the approach to toxicity testing of brine, both at the laboratory and field scales in order to assess acute and long term impacts, respectively.

SWRO CONCENTRATE RETURN – Validation of hydrodynamic models within and outside the mixing zone
To build on previous work by reviewing hydrodynamic models, incorporating an assessment of diffuser design of both predicted (modelled) and observed dilution performance.

CORROSION AND MATERIALS – Improved understanding of construction materials and coatings to resist corrosion
To develop a better understanding of what materials and coatings should be selected for construction, with a view to also optimising operations and maintenance to maintain the integrity of the materials and surfaces.

INTAKE STRUCTURES – Impact of intake structures on non-motile biota
To develop a better understanding of the impact of intake structures on the trophic food web.

WASTE MATERIAL FROM SWRO PROCESS – Disposal of waste material from desalination treatment other than to landfill
To investigate the treatment and discharge of waste material into the marine environment, with a view to reducing the need for landfill disposal.

Further information.

Applicants may submit an EOI for any project that aligns with the Roadmap, however projects addressing the targeted areas or specific needs raised by industry will be given priority.

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