Our research activity focuses on four main areas: the supply of clean, potable drinking water, including low energy desalination of brackish and sea-water; waste-water treatment and water reuse; and industrial process water treatment and recycling. Underpinning all of our work is the application of colloidal systems, nanotechnology and membrane processes. Our work is highly interdisciplinary, and currently involves engineering, microbiology, chemistry, mathematics, and the social sciences.

Our key projects include:

  • Creating an effective draw agent for forward osmosis which confers high osmotic pressure, low toxicity, and low energy of recovery.
  • Developing an in-situ ‘Living Filter’ in potable water reservoirs to remove algae from the intake to the treatment works.
  • Optimization of an ultra-filtration process which combines a pre-coagulation step for the removal of Natural Organic Matter from upland waters.
  • Testing and optimisation of high retention Forward Osmosis Membrane Bioreactors to treat municipal water for reuse.
  • Investigating the treatment of industrial process waste-water for the recycle and reuse of both water and dilute, dissolved components such as heavy metals. This includes novel complexation-flocculation techniques which require no membrane.

Contact us

Professor Nick Hankins - nick.hankins@eng.ox.ac.uk