PhD student Ahmad Kayvani Fard started a 2 month internship at the units sustainable chemistry and materials technology at VITO. He recently won ‘the 4th Oryx GTL Student Awards for the Advancement of Post-Graduate Education in Qatar'.  Ahmad works for QEERI, the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute.

Water in Qatar

There is a lack of freshwater availability in Qatar due to the very harsh environmental climate. Ahmad’s PhD focused on the treatment of produced water from oil and gas exploration platforms. Qatar is the number one producer of natural gas in the world and also produces around 800.000 barrels of oil per day. For the extraction of each barrel of oil or gas around 3 to 4 barrels of produced water are produced. Produced water is a term used in the oil industry to describe water that is produced as a byproduct along with the oil and gas.

Qatar produces more than 2 M barrels of produced water per day. If this water is treated and utilized in an efficient way, Qatar will meet the demand of production of freshwater for domestic, agricultural, and industrial sector.Ahmad is focusing on the development of novel nano adsorbents and nano membranes for the treatment of such water.

His main focus?

The main focus of Ahmad’s work is the removal of free and emulsified oil, heavy metals, and organic content from water using adsorbents and membranes. In Qatar he already developed some very efficient adsorbents. VITO was selected as the best partner to develop excellent membranes combining adsorption and separation. VITO has the expertise and equipment in ceramic membrane/material synthesis and characterisation. The manufacturing and testing of the new ceramic membranes is done in close collaboration between the units sustainable chemistry and materials technology at VITO. The first results look very promising, and a second 2 month internship is planned.


This joined work between QEERI and VITO will hopefully result in more collaborations and joint developments between the two institutes in the future. VITO will soon visit QEERI to discuss the joined interests, covering also topics as energy storage, smart grids, water, desalination and land use.

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