Design and development of water desalination plants for rural communities, driven by a hybrid solar-biogas energy system


Supervisors: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Davide Poggio.

Freshwater supplies are becoming increasingly stressed as demand increases. Desalination technologies are able to produce drinking water from abundant resources such as seawater. Solar energy has been used extensively in water desalination applications, but a backup source is needed to ensure continued operation of the system during periods of low radiation.

This project will investigate the integration of solar energy and biogas to provide heat and electricity to a community-scale desalination system. Several options for thermal and electrical integration exist, which will need to be analysed through a modelling approach and constrained by the socio-economic characteristics of the targeted communities.

Polygeneration design methods, control optimisation and thermoeconomic evaluation may be used during the project. The research will benefit from one of our current academic international collaborations where a desalination pilot plant is in the process of being built.

For further information contact Professor Derek B Ingham (

Find a PhD

Search for PhD opportunities at Sheffield and be part of our world-leading research.