In early January 2020, UA WEST Center hosted the very first session of the “RAPID Integrated Course: Emerging Membrane Processes for Water Purification” to explore the fundamentals of membrane processes and membrane process modeling software. The course, developed by Dr. Andrea Achilli, Dr. Eduardo Saez, and Dr. Itzel Marquez, was created to address training knowledge gaps in process intensification (PI) and modular chemical process intensification (MCPI). It focuses on intensified mass transfer processes, hybrid processes, and the use of modeling for simulation and optimization of intensified processes.
During the four-day training, chemical engineering students and professionals from across the country compared and contrasted the use of conventional membrane processes (ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis) to emerging membrane processes (membrane distillation) to purify water. Specifically, attendees were given hands-on opportunities to:
- analyze three different membrane processes (one of which is an example of PI) for liquid separations
- identify the suitable membrane process for specific liquid separation problems
- operate and evaluate membrane processes
- analyze experimental and modeling results
- perform economic and energy optimization of a membrane process for the purification of a specific wastewater
The course received funding support from AIChE RAPID as part of RAPID’s ongoing Education & Workforce Development efforts. Plans for regular offerings at UA WEST Center are in the works. The training is designed to promote water treatment and consumption minimization in the chemical industry, a critical topic due to water scarcity and drought, stricter environmental regulations, and water’s position as an increasingly rare and precious commodity.
For more information about the training, visit the AIChE course webpage.