City University of Hong Kong

Dr. Alicia An's project won over HK$ 2M under Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF)

Dr. Alicia An’s research group in the School of Energy and Environment (SEE) at City University of Hong Kong has proposed a novel membrane distillation (MD) system for the efficient treatment and sustainable treatment of textile wastewater. The project entitled “Design and Development of a Novel Membrane Distillation Process for Textile Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Zero Liquid Discharge” has won over HK$ 2M under Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF) - Collaborative Research Project from Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) and L Industries Limited.

Wastewater produced during textile processes is highly polluting and is estimated to make up nearly 20% of the global industrial water pollution, according to the World Bank database. This wastewater is difficult to treat due to its low biodegradability, high COD, and both strong acidity and alkalinity. Taking this into account, new technologies for treating textile wastewater can bring significant, positive changes in the global water situation. This project proposes a novel membrane distillation (MD) system which utilizes waste heat and generates recycled treated water suitable for reuse allowing the process to achieve zero liquid discharge.

The research focuses on the developing and optimizing this novel MD system for a pilot scale operation at an actual textile factory, to provide a compact, feasible, and affordable technical solution to textile industry for wastewater treatment. This project has the potential to strengthen the scientific and technological contributions of our School while fostering strong relationships with industrial partners. This continues our efforts to make Hong Kong a hub for zero liquid discharge research.