Author(s): Rashed MY AlSaed, Sami Sayadi, Hussein AbdelShafy, Gerhard Schories, Marisol Oropeza, Antonia Lorenzo, Enrique Drioli
Membrane technology (MT) is advancing rapidly as a powerful tool to abate the looming water crisis and reduce quality degradation of water resources in the Mediterranean zone. Despite several national membrane research activities, the general trend in promotion of MT is not satisfying and requires further analysis. This article compiles and critically analyzes the current research efforts in the field of membrane technology in selected Mediterranean and North African countries (MENA). A total of 114 research papers published in peer-reviewed literature from 1980 to 2007 and 22 laboratory- and full-scale membrane-based treatment plants in the MENA countries were used as the database for the analysis introduced in this paper. Results revealed few published scientific works (20% of total articles compiled) and pilot-scale studies on membrane bioreactors where further research and development pertinent to MT cost effectiveness and sustainability are needed. Advancing MT research has particular relevance to the decision makers in facilitating investment allocations and choosing sustainable treatment processes and demonstration projects for both effluent reclamation and reuse.