TEACHING WATER MEMBRANE TREATMENTS WITH THE SUPPORT OF COMMERCIAL SIMULATION SOFTWARE: APPLICATION TO VIRTUAL LABORATORIES
There is a lack of teaching materials focused on practical applications in the field of wastewater treatment technologies. These materials are of a great importance for the professional development of Environmental or Chemical Engineers but also for a great variety of professionals involved in the areas of drinking water and wastewater treatment. As a consequence, an innovation and improvement of the teaching quality project was started in 2013 at Complutense University of Madrid, aiming to develop new teaching materials in the field of drinking water and wastewater treatments with an eminent practical character.
These materials aim to improve the capacity for analysis and resolution of practical problems by the students (problems-based learning), to gain familiarity with the use of commercial simulation software and information technology tools. In general, the students will learn to apply their basic knowledge to solve practical problems similar to what they would do in their professional activities. These teaching materials can be used for lessons either in regular classrooms or in computers’ classroom, or can be used as virtual practices.
The use of membrane technologies is gaining more and more attention in many water treatment applications such as desalination of seawater for the production of drinking water, water reclamation from urban wastewater treatment plants, effluent reuse in industrial plants, boiling water demineralization, water for cleaning mirrors in thermosolar plants demineralization, etc. Membrane technologies are able to remove soluble organics and salts and even to disinfect water. In this context, this paper summarizes the development of new teaching materials which allow teaching how the main parameters affect the efficiency of a membrane treatments and how to use different commercial software, mainly open-access software, can be used for the design and operation analysis of wastewater treatment technologies. As the students are able to compare their obtained results with relevant scientific literature, they also become familiar with reading and analyzing information from scientific literature and using technical English.
The materials have been compiled in a CD-ROM which can be directly used in virtual campus or web pages, without any further modification, easing their use as virtual laboratories.
These materials include:
• A brief introductory presentation of what are the main parameters to be taken into account in the design and operation of membrane technologies.
• A collection of resolved and proposed exercises (only with the final solution) regarding the design and treatment of waters with membrane technologies.
• A comprehensive presentation on how to use commercial software to design water membrane treatment, including a list of the most relevant available software.
• A collection of resolved exercises and proposed exercises (only with the final solution) regarding the design and treatment of waters with commercial simulation software, i.e. ROSA software (Dow Chemical).
• Autoevaluation of the acquired knowledge.
Authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Vice-rectorate of Quality Evaluation from Complutense University of Madrid through the innovation and improvement of quality teaching project no. 46 (Call 2013) entitled “Un enfoque práctico para la docencia del tratamiento de las aguas residuales y potables”.