School of Chemical Engineering

Biography

After graduating with Master of Chemical Process Engineering from the University of New South Wales, I predominantly worked in industrial water and utility of the energy sector. My interest is Reverse Osmosis (RO) membrane filtration and I have some background knowledge in chlorination (both onsite and offsite) and seawater intake.

Research Project

Title: Evolution of silica nanoparticles during Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) associated (co-produced) water

Advisors: A/Prof Greg Birkett and A/Prof Steven Pratt

Synopsis of project:

The aim of this project is to, first, track the colloidal portion of silica through RO stages and eventually to develop new ways to mitigate silica-associated scaling during Reverse Osmosis (RO) treatment of CSG water. It investigates how the type and level of silica present in CSG water behaves at different stages of RO process during this treatment.

This study gains a richer understanding of silica/silicate chemistry through the RO stages, to assist with identifying the most appropriate techniques to mitigate silica-associated scaling. It will focus on developing new ways to mitigate scaling by considering silica and silica-rich nanoparticles in concert with hardness cations (calcium and magnesium), with the aim of better managing these cations so to mitigate different types of silica scaling and fouling phenomena.

This ensures effective management of existing assets (lowering operation expenditure) and potentially enables higher water recovery and reduced brine volume. In addition, lowering chemical consumption would make the treatment process more environmentally-friendly.

Expected outcomes include more productive and effective use of assets (lower operation expenditure), improved RO pre-treatment and the environmental benefits of less chemical waste and higher water recovery, reducing the cost of water processing.

Research Skills

Research Skills/Interests:  Water Chemistry, Industrial & Utility Water Treatment, Membrane filtration, Reverse Osmosis (RO) processes & fouling phenomena

Achievement Highlights

HDR – RTP Scholarship recipient;

ARC Linkage through consortium of Shell (QGC), APLNG (ConocoPhillips & Origin Energy), Arrow Energy, Santos, Wastewater Futures (Membrane Futures) and the University of Queensland in cooperation with University of New South Wales

PhD Student

Building: Hawken Building (50)

e: e.sarabian@uq.edu.au