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Membrane Technology

About the industry

Membrane Technology
The Kingdom has turned into more innovative ways to provide enough water that supports its development plans. A major source for water in the Kingdom is desalination, a process that produces potable water from brackish seawater. The production of desalinated water requires sustainable techniques. Therefore, the National Centre for Membrane Technology (NCMT) was established in 1435 by KACST as a scientific research center for exploring the most advanced and recent developments in the field of desalination and its technologies. The center aims to achieve important objectives and directions of the National Plan in the field of membrane technology and industry.
The main objective of the NCMT is the application of membrane technologies in various areas of the industry specifically in water desalination treatment and reuse of wastewater. The modern advanced industrial techniques are used in scientific revolution to membrane technologies. The achievement of outstanding results provide the industrialists and scientists technical characteristics and advancement in desalination technology, which led to researchers and businessmen to take advantage of continues invention and improvement in the efficiency of the existing techniques.
It will achieve a significant change in the orientation of decision-makers of the developed industrialized countries and the systemic change by scientific research oriented results, strategy and future plans for the use of this membrane technology. This will also help in the exploitation of a huge and multiple areas ranging from water desalination, reuse of waste water, energy conservation and maintaining a clean environment.

KACST role

KACST takes a leading role in a joint research with different scientific bodies around the world and in various fields associated with a membrane technology to contribute to the development of membranes industry in various fields locally and globally.
The National Center for Membrane Technology (NCMT) contributes the conducted studies and scientific researches in many areas, such as: water desalination, water treatment for different purposes, the petrochemicals field, gas and energy production, and medical and pharmaceutical applications.
NCMT works to transfer and localize the membrane industry techniques in various scientific and industrial fields and has developed for th purpose of building a local base in the field of membranes and their uses.
The objectives of the NCMT in the field of membranes includes: Transportation, localization and development of  a membrane technology, conducting a scientific research in the field of various membrane technologies, holding strategic partnerships with research centers and specialized research institutions locally and globally. Attracting talented scholars and cooperating with different experiences in this area, developing qualified human resources in this sector, creating a database for researches and techniques of local and global membranes, Increasing knowledge and awareness of the importance of the research, technology and applications of membrane for a community. Developing a model laboratory for products with a high-performance technology  in areas of interest to Kingdom, and obtaining equipments and facilities within the institutes of the KACST in support of each strategic project for the development of these models.


Zeolite is a natural or a synthetic material of hydro aluminum porous silicate. Zeolite membranes is characterized by its highly thermal and chemical stability and they are used instead of the polymeric membranes in many industrial applications. 
The objective of this project is to synthesize a zeolite membrane on a commercial or homemade ceramic support from natural raw materials. 
The project goal is completed as a zeolite membrane was synthesized  on a ceramic membrane with 98% of salts separated by the distillation desalination technology.

Unwanted brain water extracted with oil and gas from wells during operation. The membranes are of the promising technologies for treatment of produced water, such as ceramic membranes which have many advantages (high strength, durability). The objective of the is to synthesize a ceramic membrane from raw local materials.
The project goal is completed as a ceramic membrane was synthesized of white sand with high efficiency in separating hydrocarbons from contaminated water and 98% purification efficiency.

Project is aimed at developing a hollow fiber (HF) polymeric membrane for water desalination. This novel HF membrane uses a new material which has high mechanical properties and temperature resistance, and has shown some indication of chlorine and fouling resistance which minimizes the need for a frequent membrane cleaning during the operation and maximizes the membrane life. 
The first phase of this project will include experiments and developments to increase its efficiency to produce high water with high salt rejection and to confirm chlorine resistance and fouling tendency.

Rare earth metals, such as cobalt, vanadium and indium or the more abundant lithium became the limiting bottleneck of several new technologies. Lithium is a component of  the Li-Ion-batteries such as electric vehicles. Vanadium on the other hand, is a strategic metal for large-scale energy storage.
The aim of the project is the development of new concepts for the efficient recovery of valuable compounds from brines. Electrochemical concepts will be targeted, as an ionic separation. Lithium will be managed through conductive membranes.