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Miguel Miranda
University of New Hampshire

Major: Environmental Engineering
Mentor: Dr. James Malley, UNH Department of Civil Engineering

Desalinization of Ocean Water with UV light Radiation Pretreatment

Around the world, especially in developing countries, access to a clean water supply is becoming very limited. Due to these issues water reuse techniques have begun to rise in the world of water treatment and supply. This research addresses one water reuse technique called Nano filtration. This is a pressure driven treatment technique where contaminated water is “pushed” through a porous membrane only allowing water molecules and some ions through. This process removes bacteria, dissolved solids, most multivalent ions, organic molecules and viruses, making the water sanitary enough for use. Although it is proven to be very effective it is also energy intensive. Due to this it is important to minimize any factors that can cause the energy requirement to rise. One of the biggest factors that would increase the energy is an increase in pressure and in this system the most potent factor that increases pressure is called biofouling. Biofouling is simply when bacteria grow on the filter, once caught, and begin to clog up the pores. What this research aims to accomplish is to develop a way to reduce the transmembrane pressure by using UV light as a pretreatment system. This pretreatment process is expected to inactivate the bacteria to prevent them from multiplying thus reducing the potential of biofouling. If the use of UV light as a pretreatment proves to make the current filtration process more energy inexpensive, efficient and cost effective then a more effective treatment process can be used to meet the water needs of in developing countries.

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