Water & wastewater treatment

We have the capability to develop and demonstrate water and wastewater treatment technologies at both the laboratory and pilot scale. These include desalination and low pressure membrane systems, which are central to the Institute's research program.

Our role


  • Membrane casting

    Increase water recovery from desalination processes.

  • Scaling and fouling reduction of membrane systems.
  • Development of advanced oxidation materials and processes for organics destruction.
  • Minimisation of the residuals and residuals treatment.
  • Efficient use of nutrients within water streams.
  • Improve the performance and management of small scale treatment systems.
  • Industrial water treatment.

Selected recent & current projects

  • Treatment of wastewater. Funding: Foshan Industrial Technology Research Institute (Chinese Academy of Sciences).
  • Preparation of poly (methyl methacrylate) spherical micro-nano-particles and development of self-assemble multilayer PMMA ultrafiltration membrane. Funding: Tianjin Polytechnic University, China.

    Ceramic membranes
  • Microalgae harvesting in wastewater lagoons to produce biofuel and to enhance effluent quality. Funding: Western Water.
  • Functional nano-porous metal membranes for sustainable separation in industrial processes. Funding: Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage with Advanced Metallurgical Solutions Pty Ltd (AMS).
  • Demonstration of robust water recycling. Funding: Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE).
  • Extraction of water and mineral from coal seam gas produced water for beneficial use. Funding: National Centre of Excellence for Desalination Australia (NCEDA), University of Wollongong.

Contact: Stephen Gray | stephen.gray@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 8097


Biological membrane reactor
  • Overcoming performance limiting chemistries in membrane distillation for future resources recovery industries. Funding: ARC Discovery.
  • Development of the commercial membrane distillation heat exchanger prototype module. Funding: Pinches.
  • Membrane processing of industrial waste water. Funding: Tri-Tech Chemical Co Pty Ltd/Innovations Connections.
  • Fresh water supply for off-shore salmon farming. Funding: Petuna Aquaculture Pty Ltd.
  • Robust membrane systems for enhanced primary treatment and energy recovery of abattoir waste water. Funding: Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC).
  • Innovative membrane technologies for sustainable low energy nitrogen recovery. Funding: VU post-doctoral fellowship scheme/City West Water.

Contact: Mikel Duke | mikel.duke@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 7682

  • Development of a strategy for water usage and effluent discharge from the organisation's new paper recycling plant in An Binh. Funding: An Binh-Vietnam Paper Corporation.
  • Efficient avacado production. Funding: Trinh Muoi Pty Ltd.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing in Vietnam. Funding: Orient Foods.

Contact: Manh Hoang | manh.hoang@vu.edu.au

  • Decentralised treatment solutions for regional and remote water supplies. Funding: Water Research Australia.
  • Pasteurisation for production of Class A Water. Funding: Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence (AWRCoE).

Contact: Peter Sanciolo | peter.sanciolo@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 8053

  • Boneo Membrane Autopsy. Funding: South East Water via Aqueous Solutions.
  • Alternative ultrafiltration integrity test using novel nanomaterials. Funding: Water Research Australia.
  • Microbial synthesis of biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate polymers. Funding: Victoria University Central Research Grant Scheme (VU CRGS).
  • Alternative disposal methods for end-of-life desalination membrane elements. Funding: Melbourne Water/National Centre of Excellence for Desalination Australia (NCEDA).
  • Standards methods for integrity monitoring and on-line monitoring of NF and RO membranes. Funding. Water Reuse Foundation (USA), Montgomery Watson.

Contact: Marlene Cran | marlene.cran@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 7642

  • Valuable metals extraction and purification from mining water. Funding: Jervois Mining & Victoria University.
  • Fabrication of novel asymmetric fluoropolymer membranes suitable for membrane distillation applications and commercial trials of MD technology in selected industrial sites in Ningbo, China. Funding: Ningbo international collaborative grant scheme.
  • Acid concentration and recovery from mining solutions by membrane distillation (MD). Funding: Victoria University Central Research Grant Scheme (VU CRGS), Jervois Mining.

Contact: Xing Yang | xing.yang@vu.edu.au | +613 9919 7690

  • Concept development of reprocessing glass fines as an additive to recycle plastic to enhnce the plastic mechanicals and fire properties. Funding: Sustainability Victoria.

Contact: Donavan Marney | donavan.marney@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 7684

  • Synergistic effects of ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration on ceramic membrane fouling in treating secondary effluent. Funding: Victoria University Central Research Grant Scheme (CRGS).
  • A Novel Forward Osmosis Process for High Water Recovery Inland Water Desalination. Funding: Victoria University-Collaborative Research Grants Scheme.

Contact: Shobha Muthukumaran | shobha.muthukumuran@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 4859

  • Cultivation of Anammox from WTP Sludge. Funding: Melbourne Water.
  • Evaluation of a non-chemical pulsed-power technology as an antifouling pre-treatment for reverse osmosis desalination membranes. Funding: National Centre of Excellence for Desalination.

Contact: Thomas Yeager | thomas.yeager@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 8103

  • Evaluation of the performance of a hybrid Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) for highly polluted industry effluent. Funding Victoria University Central Research Grant Scheme (CRGS).

Contact: Dimuth Navaratna | dimuth.navaratna@vu.edu.au | +61 3 9919 5554

Selected papers & publications