, Volume 1, Issue 1-2, pp 11-17,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 May 2011

An ambitious step to the future desalination technology: SEAHERO R&D program (2007–2012)


In Republic of Korea, seawater engineering and architecture of high efficiency reverse osmosis (SEAHERO) research and development (R&D) program started from 2007 to lead the top seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant technologies for desalination with the fund of US $165 million for 6 years including test-bed plant construction. There are three technical strategies for SEAHERO R&D program called 3L, which represents large scale, low fouling, and low energy, respectively. Large scale means design, construction, and operation of the largest unit SWRO train [daily water production rate = 8 MIGD (36,000 m3/day)] in the world. Low-fouling strategy targets the decrease of RO membrane fouling by 50%. The specific target for low energy is total energy consumption of whole SWRO plant (including intake, pretreatment, SWRO systems, and so on) less than 4 kWh/m3. The core parts for SWRO plant, such as 16 in. diameter RO membrane and energy recovery device, were developed and will soon be introduced to a test-bed including the largest unit SWRO train. The next step of SEAHERO is real field scale test-bed application of the unit technologies developed for the past 4 years (2007–2010) such as strategic pretreatment, energy-saving technology, and reliable system monitoring.