JOHOR BAHRU, August 14 – Membrane technology, the golden goose egg of AMTEC is getting more and more recognition from national and international level for its promising potential for the prosperity of mankind. Recently, as reported by the Malaysian mainstream media UTUSAN newspaper, AMTEC research team consisted of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hafiz and members have successfully produced clean drinking water extracted from seawater by using their special membrane distillation system.

The efforts of converting seawater to a safe clean water for human consumption have been conducted by scientists worldwide for decades, however the process faced the obstacle of the nature of seawater itself which is high in salt content. However, the desalination technique invented by AMTEC have proven to bear fruitful result in not only converting seawater to fresh water but also producing it in large scale. The low-cost project has attracted global giant in water industries to collaborate including Korea, Japan, United Kingdom and  Saudi Arabia.

‘Seafresh’ is the name of the converted seawater conversion which have been utilized by locals in the  needy area. With the capability of producing 550 liters of drinking water daily, the system is expected to continue supplying clean water in the near future. The system currently is deployed in rural area of eastern coast of Malaysia to supply clean water for approximately 100 people in nearby villages.

According to the project leader, Dr Hafiz Dzarfan explained that there are a few more improvements to be investigated in terms of the material used for the membrane and the most important is to explore the natural technological approach for the membrane system to increase the green footprint of the membrane technology. Currently, they are looking at the promising substitute material for the membrane which is silica produced from the rice husk. As part of the two- pronged strategy, AMTEC is planning on utilizing rice husk as the most abundant waste in Malaysia to be incorporated into the membrane for improvement, ultimately becoming an environmentally friendly technology. The system will be more suitable for use in any example in the middle of the sea. HICOE AMTEC has been a national and global reference especially in the field of wastewater treatment by various industries.

Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan (two from left) with his group members presented with awards and medals won at the Seoul International Invention Fair (SIIF) 2017 in COEX, Seoul, South Korea.

More economical cost

This projects which started around year 2015 have been completed at the laboratory level. Researchers have conducted preliminary tests on the filtered water from this system and the quality of the produced water was up to par with the well known drinking water brand such as Desa, Spritzer and Evians.  The estimated cost of each unit of distillation membrane system was between RM15,000 to RM20,000 and capable of producing 0.55 cubic meters per day (145 gallons per day).

“Since this technology is still new in Malaysia, it is very important for Malaysia. In addition, the cost of technology we created is reduced by almost 70 percent of the existing technology.” – Assoc. Prof. Ts. Dr Mohd Hafiz Dzarfan


The Advantages of Sil-RH Membrane Distillation: From Seawater to Freshwater

– Low cost green technology

– Produce large scale drinking water from seawater compared to conventional technology

– Uses low energy and low temperature to operate

– Beneficial to the community especially during natural disasters


Source : Utusan Malaysia (Mega Sains) – Air Laut Untuk Minum – Rabu , 14 August 2019
Article credited to Laupa Junus
Picture credited to