AMS Newsletter, issue 3, February 3, 2017 - Download PDF (English)
AMS Newsletter, issue 2, September 30, 2016 - Download PDF (French Only)
AMS Newsletter, issue 1, May, 2015 - Download PDF- English


AMSNewsletter February 3, 2017

Issue # 3, February 2017


Editorial notes              page 1
AMS activities, news    page 2
Young researchers       page 4
Our partner’s corner     page 8



Want to learn about AMS?

Become AMS member?
Send application to AMS President, Dr. Abdoulaye Doucoure:
AMS Newsletter Submissions
Please send news, announcements and other contributions for the newsletter to the Editor, Dr. Sidy Ba:
Your contribution shall be included in the next issue of the newsletter.

Edward Nxumalo
Associate Professor
University of South Africa

Editorial notes

The 2nd African Membrane Society International Congress (AMSIC-2) will be held in the City of Johannesburg (South Africa)  from the 29th of July to the 1st of August 2018. The AMSIC-2 will be hosted by the Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability (NanoWS) Research Unit of the University of South Africa (UNISA) The NanoWS Research Unit is situated in the UNISA’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology at the Science Campus in Florida (West of the City of Johannesburg). The NanoWS Research Unit has various focus areas of research under which numerous strategic projects relating to nanotechnology and water research are developed. Research topics that will be addressed during AMSIC-2   include, among others:

  • UF, NF, RO, FO and mixed matrix membranes (fabrication and applications),
  • Fabrication and modification of ceramic, ceramic-polymeric and hollow fibre membranes,
  • Composites, nanocomposites, nanomaterials in filtration,
  • Membranes coupled with renewable energy sources,
  • Hybrid membrane filtration systems.

This event aims to capture key technological advances in fields heavily dependent on membrane filtration such as Water, Biotechnology and Biomedical sciences, Microelectronics, Chemical Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, and Power Generation.  

As for membrane studies devoted to water, we will consider water purification projects, analytical/environmental research, urban water cycle and rural community development as well as bioremediation and analysis. The NanoWS research Unit is therefore well poised to host the AMSIC-2. We look forward to welcoming you to the City of Johannesburg in 2018!


AMS activities and news


AMS introduction to European Membrane Society (EMS) new Council

The African Membrane Society congratulates Prof. Christiana BOI (Universiti of Bologna, Italy) following her recent election as President of EMS.

We will stay in close contact with Christiana and her team and are looking forward to a productive relationship between both organizations. EMS Past President, Prof. Bart Van der Bruggen (Dept. Chem. Eng., KU Leuven, Belgium) invited Dr. Abdoulaye Doucoure to an inaugural meeting of the EMS Council, where he gave a speech. Prof. Van der Bruggen felt it was important to maintain a strong relationship between both organizations, a view also held by Dr. Abdoulaye. The latter thanked Prof. Van der Bruggen for his determination to help improving AMS’ visibility within the global membrane community and for sponsoring its events. “We wish him a continued success in his new endeavors and will remain in contact” he added.

AMS key initiatives in 2016 and outlook for 2017-2018

The year 2016 has been an uplifting year for AMS, starting with the enrollment of new members located in Europe, Asia and Africa (Tanzania, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tunisia, Mali, Senegal and Ghana), which led to a 10% increase in membership. Our website has been enriched with content focused more on membrane projects which are conducted in Africa - including two newsletters focusing on AMS. Finally, AMS held its first international venue (AMSIC-1) in Tunisia in partnership with the Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, from May 3rd to 5th, 2016. Many organizers devoted countless hours of work to make it a success. Everyone was relieved and delighted by the level of productivity, the accomplishments and the memorable reception. The venue was a critical milestone for the AMS community and we are thankful to everyone who supported us during this challenging journey.  
What are the next steps in 2017 and 2018? Well, AMS commits to undertake the following actions:
  • Write Newsletters #3 and #4;
  • Publish original research and review articles related to membranes & environment in scientific peer reviewed journals;
  • Facilitate online audio-video seminars organized by members (at least one);
  • Partnering with the organizers of Francofilt   meeting to be held in Bordeaux (August 29th – 31st, 2017 by IFTS, University of Bordeaux, CNRS, etc );
  • Prepare for election of new AMS Board (2nd semester of 2017);
  • Prepare for AMSIC-2 (City of Johannesburg, South Africa, July 29-Aug 3rd, 2018).
Board members of AMS can be elected for up to two three-year terms. We are eager to prepare for this election and are excited about the prospect of bringing talented individuals to the organization.  

Aside from these priorities, we are committed to getting more AMS members involved, hopefully inspiring, creating opportunities for and giving visibility to new volunteers and especially our early-career filtration experts.

Lastly, the Board has been brainstorming about publishing a series of technical booklets aimed at disseminating knowledge about membranes, filtration, energy and water technologies by illustrating research/teaching materials from faculty and professional participants in Africa. We plan to kick start this initiative during the 4th quarter of 2017.
Any support, ideas or sponsor will be highly appreciated!


Bakary Dembelé is the first graduate student of the “Université des Sciences Techniques et Technologiques de Bamako (USTTB)” in Mali to defend a doctoral thesis in the field of membrane science.

Bakary’s PhD research dissertation is entitled “Treatment of Mali Drainage Mining Water by Nanofitration” and his defense took place on August 1st 2016 in Bamako during the Mali Symposium on Applied Sciences  The reviewers were Amadou Hama Maiga (Former General Director of the International Institute for Water & Environmental Engineering in Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso) and Sylvie Condom (Faculty at the “Institut Européen des Membranes” of Montpellier, France). His research thesis was co-advised by Adama Tolofoudyé (Head, Département de Génie Chimique, USTTB, Mali) and Abdoulaye Doucouré (President of AMS and Manager, Hollingsworth & Vose Company, Virginia USA). Dr. Dembelé has been recruited by USTTB’s Department of Chemistry to teach at the undergraduate level and pursue research in the field of materials sciences and the engineering.

Hafedh Saidani (Dr) -   New position

AMS congratulates Dr. Saidani for his new appointment and it wishes him an enduring success in his new role


After 7 years of experience at the Institut de la Filtration et des Techniques Séparatives, Dr. Saidani joined Novasep in January 2017 to resume his new role in membrane technology and purification processes. Novasep is a leading worldwide provider of integrated manufacturing solutions for the life science industries. The group is widely recognized for its expertise in the industrial production of molecules (bio-and synthetic molecule) and purification of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Dr. Saidani is incharge of membrane technology at Novasep and will also work with customers in the design and realization of unit operations and purification processes. Also, providing turnkey solutions for production lines for the food and bioresources industries.

Young Researchers


In 2016, students from the Unité de Développement des Equipements Solaires [Solar Equipment Development Unit] (UDES) in Bou-Ismail, Algeria, have successfully defended several Master theses. Topics addressed issues of wastewater treatment and desalination, as reflected by the thesis titles:

  • Study of coupling Adsorption / Photocatalysis for the treatment of polluted water in a fixed bed reactor. Amazigh Sahraoui and Smail Nuoissi, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering: University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene / UDES, Center for the Development of Renewable Energies, June 2016.  Adviser: Djilali Tassalit.

  • Design and production of a new solar photoreactor for the treatment of recalcitrant pollutants. Bradai Manel and Kissarli Abd el-Hakim, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering: University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene / UDES, Center for the Development of Renewable Energies, June 2016.Adviser: Djilali Tassalit.

  • Comparative study of the degradation of paracetamol in two photoreactors and optimization by experimental design. Nour elimen Bendjebbas and Hayat Ghebghoub, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering: University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene / UDES, Center for the Development of Renewable Energies, June 2016. Adviser: Nadia Chekir.

  • Experimental and numerical study of the performances of a single slope distiller coupled to planar solar collectors. Yousra Abdelbaki and Osama Kritli, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering and Catalysis, University Blida / UDES, Center for Renewable Energies Development, June 2016. Adviser: Zahia Tigrine.

  • Photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants by solar radiation. Fairouz Khebil and Nabila Zenibaa, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering: University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene / UDES, Center for the Development of Renewable Energies, June 2016. Adviser: Aoudjit Lamine.

  • Processing of organic pollutants on two solar photocatalytic supports. Madina Belmihoub and Houria Habbi, Master thesis in Chemical Engineering: University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene / UDES, Center for Renewable Energies Development, June 2016. Adviser: Nadia Chekir.


Membrane technologies/processes in Africa : Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables [Renewable Energy Development Center]


Présentation de l’Unité de Développement des Equipements Solaire du Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables


Nachida Kasbadji Merzouk (Dr) and Zahia Tigrine


L’Unité de Développement des Equipements Solaires (UDES, Bou Ismail, Tipaza), est affiliée au Centre de Développement des Energies Renouvelables (CDER). Ces missions principales sont axées principalement sur la réalisation des travaux de conception, de dimensionnement et d’optimisation des équipements en énergies renouvelables pour la production de la chaleur, l’électricité, le froid et le traitement des eaux. L’UDES est organisée en deux divisions dont la division Froid et Traitement des Eaux par Energies Renouvelables qui contient deux équipes de recherche savoir, l’équipe de Valorisation et de l’Epuration des Eaux de Rejets (EVER) et l’équipe de Distillation et Dessalement des Eaux Saumâtres et de Mer (DDESM).

Cette dernière s’attèle à réaliser des projets de recherche permettant le développement et le test des techniques membranaires dont la réponse à la charge énergétique provient de systèmes à énergie renouvelable.

Dans ce cadre-là, l’équipe DDESM s’est équipée d’un pilote d’osmose inverse afin de caractériser à travers différents essais expérimentaux, le dessalement d’eau saline dont la concentration en chlorure de sodium varie dans la gamme 5 ≤ sal (g/l) ≤ 30 en fonction de pression imposée, [1]. La figure suivante présente l'installation de l'unité d'osmose inverse de faible capacité dans le laboratoire de notre équipe UDES/CDER. Le pilote contient une membrane spiralée (1000 PSI (70bar) Feuille de Membrane Résistante FRP) placée dans un carter dont les caractéristiques sont données au tableau 1, [2]. Les différentes caractéristiques de fonctionnement du système sont illustrées sur le tableau 2, [3].

Pilote d’osmose inverse installé au laboratoire de l’équipe DDEMS.

Table 1 : Limites maximales de fonctionnement de la membrane testée



OI Model SEA5-4040

Pression maximale



Pressure drop






pH toléré pendant le fonctionnement


3 à 10




Concentration en chlore



Turbidité de l'eau d'alimentation



Eau d'alimentation SDI



Rapport minimal entre le débit du concentré et celui du perméat pour tout élément



Table 2. : Données techniques d'exploitation

Données techniques

Critères et design

Flux de perméat

84 l/h


<35000 ppm

Pression de service

55 bars

temperature nominale de fonctionnement

18 ° C

Consommation d'eau brute


Inlet pressure of Need

Au moins  3 bar

Pression de l'eau brute

3-5 bars

Operating pressure requirement

67 bar max




16 L / m² / h


230V/50 Hz



Puissance installée

3 kW/500 A


<0.01mg / lt

Raccord de tuyauterie

Eau brute : DN 15

Manganese / Aluminium

<0.025 mg / lt

Perméat : DN 15

Barium Strontium

Très faible

concentration : 15 DN




H*W*D=179*90*44 cm3



Plusieurs tests ont été effectués au sein du laboratoire comme l’étude de la variation du débit du perméat et du rétentat en fonction de la pression pour une salinité du puit de 1g/l ainsi que la variation du débit de perméat en fonction de la pression pour différentes salinités. L’installation du couplage de ce pilote avec les énergies renouvelables telles que présentées sur le schéma suivant et en cours de réalisation.


Fig. 5 : Variation du débit retentat et perméat en fonction de la pression, [3]

Fig 4 : Variation du debit du perméat en fonction de la pression pour différentes salinité, [4]


Figure 5.1

Schéma du couplage du pilote d’osmose inverse avec l’énergie photovoltaïque, [1]

  1. Z. Tigrine, N. Kasbadji Merzouk, H. Aburideh, M. Abbas, D. Zioui, D. Belhout, S. Hout, Pilot-Scale Reverse Osmosis for Brackish and Seawater Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy. International Journal of Environmental Science, 1, 350-356
  2. Z. Tigrine, H. Abuhideh, M. Abbas, S.Hout, N. Kasbadji Merzouk, D. Zioui, M. Khateb, Membrane Desalination Technology in Algeria : Reverse Osmosis for Coastal Areas, 7th International Exergy, Energy and Environment Symposium, 26-30 avril 2015
  3. N. Kasbadji Merzouk, Z. Tigrine and D. Tassalit L'appoint des énergies renouvelables au dessalement, Conférence AMSC1, l’exploitation des procèdes membranaires pour le traitement de l'eau dans les petites communautés et les centres urbains, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, 3-5 mai 2016
  4. Z. Tigrine, N.Kasbadji Merzouk, H. Aburideh, M. Abbas, D. Zioui, D.Belhout, S.Hout, M. Khateb, Characterization of pilot-scale desalination reverse osmosis membrane coupled with sustainable energy source. Conférence AMSC1, l’exploitation des procèdes membranaires pour le traitement de l'eau dans les petites communautés et les centres urbains, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, 3-5 mai 2016


Our partner's corner

Envisioning a mutually beneficial partnership between
International Water Association (IWA) and African Membrane Society

Roger Ben Aïm  (Dr)
Distinguished Fellow of IWA
Member of IWA Strategic Council

IWA is the largest and the most representative international association in the field of water in the world. It embraces all the aspects of water activity from pure water to waste water, from scientific to industrial aspects, from water quality to water management (
IWA has members in 130 countries in the world, including 53 African countries (including Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda). In 2015 a UN summit adopted a set of goals as a part of a new development agenda, i.e. the “Sustainable Development goals” to be reached by 2030 ( IWA strongly supports this approach through a resolution entitled “Effective contribution of water professionals to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and all water-related Targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development”. IWA action will be mostly focused on Goal 6 : Clean water and sanitation, which goal is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Today:  

  • 50% or less people have access to potable water in several developing countries including several African countries
  • 34% of the world’s population lack basic sanitation facility and this percentage increases to 56% in sub-Saharan Africa

We all agree that membrane technology should play a role in clean water production as in wastewater treatment and reuse. The AMS International Conference in Sfax, Tunisia last year confirmed the important role of membranes in sustainable water management: this was a proof of the dynamism of the sector not only in research but also in industrial activity as several Subject Matter Experts attended the exhibition.
It is important that IWA and AMS join their effort and work hand in hand to achieve mutual goals.
This could be made easier in 3 ways

  • IWA officers are present in Africa and they could help in the process of conducting joint actions. IWA-Africa contact person:
  • IWA Specialist group on Membrane Technology is very active and would surely agree in joint actions with AMS such as the organization of a joint regional conference that could take place in 2018;
  • IWA networking platform is a fantastic forum for keeping in touch with the whole water and wastewater specialists’ community.

Finally, universal access to Clean Water and Sanitation goal is a real challenge particularly in Africa: only 13 years remaining for reaching this milestone! This implies the mobilization of all of us.
Let us start the job!





AMS Newsletter, issue 2, September 30, 2016


Editorial : A word from the Secretary General of AMS


The African Membrane Society (AMS) organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Sciences of Sfax (Tunisia) an international meeting on the ' Exploitation of Membrane Processes for Water Treatment in Small Communities and Urban Centers' from 3 to 5 May 2016. The Sfax community welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm AMS first international congress:  AMSIC-1.
It is worth stressing that a key AMS priority is to stimulate technological transfer via the formation of a critical mass of experts and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

The issues of access to water and drought are of great size and importance in African countries and a strict management of water resources is needed. This approach is likely to address more effectively transnational threats posed by armed conflicts, food crises and epidemic risks. On the other hand, good management of natural resources will warrant better control of the water needs in (still rising) communities, and disrupt the impact of water stress now rampant in the Maghreb (Northern Africa region) under the influence of global warming climate.

Today, African states seem to have prioritized the need to mobilize and share the resources of the continent. AMS welcomes such initiatives and believes that its success is closely related to an active mobilization of African policy makers. In the field of water treatment, membrane filtration systems have several technological advantages for Africa (modularity and robustness of equipment, control of water quality, ease of use, etc.), especially as the investment and operating costs are getting closer to those of conventional treatment systems.The international meeting of Sfax (Tunisia) focused on major advances in academic and industrial research particularly in the field of membrane filtration technology for water treatment. The fallout from this event will be analyzed more extensively in our next newsletter but the following observations can already be identified:
Specialists in filtration gathered to share the results of research projects in Africa and to make recommendations on future directions in technology management, stimulating economic growth through the development of water and energy resources. We hope that the convergence of these efforts will help curb the disastrous consequences of poverty in all countries of the African continent.

AMSIC-1 conference took place over two days the first of which was devoted to filtration technologies for the production of drinking water and desalination processes. Topics such as Formation of Membrane Materials, Membrane Development and Fouling, Filtration Performance of Membranes and Modules were examined in depth by experts. Meanwhile, the contribution of renewable energies for an effective management of filtration processes was actively debated.

The second day was dedicated to innovation in filtration systems and the application of membrane filtration in the field of irrigation, the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and to promote the exploitation of recycled and reuse water.
These meetings gave us an opportunity to  brainstorm on the need to strengthen institutional partnerships in Africa in the field of education and through industrial partnerships.

I was impressed by the strong attendance during our first international meeting and believe that it will contribute to African development in the scientific and socio-economic areas. The final report of our first congress (in progress) will provide more specific information, evaluate meeting outcomes and define some future areas of work for our association.

The town of Sfax which hosted this event is the second largest city of Tunisia. Located about 270 kilometers from Tunis, it covers an area of ​​220 km2. Sfax is bordered by the Mediterranean to the east and the Gulf of Gabes in the south and has known many civilizations since antiquity (Berber, Romanian, Carthaginian, Byzantine and Arab-Muslim), These have left a rich and deep cultural heritage. The most important monuments of the historic center are i) the Ramparts and great Cisterns built in 856 (UNESCO heritage) at the time Aghlabids and considered among the major landmarks of the Arab-Muslim world, ii) The Great Mosque built by the Aghlabid and also iii) Thyna Roman city located about 10 km from the city of Sfax.

In 2014, the wider metropolitan area of Sfax had 955,421 inhabitants, placing it second only to the governorate of Tunis. It plays a leading role in the Tunisian economy through the export of olive oil (1 in the world for the year 2015) and also fish. Other critical components of the Sfax economy are phosphate mining and oil exploration.

Professor Raja Ben Amar

AMS Participants in Sfax

Group photo of participants at the conference Sfax 2016. (Photo: Amine Abdelkafi)

AMS News

The Malian Society of Applied Sciences (MSAS) organized the ninth edition of its biannual symposium in Bamako from July 31 to August 5, 2016. In this edition, the AMS conducted a workshop on "Membrane Technologies and Systems hybrid for the treatment of municipal and industrial water in urban areas ". The contributions of Adama Tolofoudyé (Dr, Dir Lab. - University of Bamako) and Fadel Gassab (Engineer -. Dir at Etex, Tunisia) have highlighted the academy-industry partnership opportunities that may emerge between Mali and Tunisia . Prof. Amadou Maiga (outgoing Director 2IE, Burkina Faso) addressed the plenary session as to the issue of opportunities and challenges specific to African universities in the context of water technologies. Further information on the MSAS -2016 is available at:

AMS News

Abdoulaye Doucoure (AMS president) and Raja Ben Amar (AMS general secretary and president of AMSIC-1 congress) attended the North American Membrane Society annual meeting held from May 30th to June 3rd, 2015 in the city of Boston. They had an opportunity to meet with Bhekie Mamba (Prof., Director of Nanotechnology and Sustainable Water Research Unit, from University of South Africa) and Hassan-Ait-Haddou (Dr, Senior Director Danaher-Pall, originally from Morocco). They stressed the needs to broaden and strengthen the academe-industry partnerships among African countries as well as with other regions of the world. They all valued the idea of bringing together WISA ( and AMS members during AMSIC-1 (Sfax) in order to boost the training of African experts specialized in membrane filtration, water treatment and sustainable energy technologies.     



De G. à Dr.: Hassan Ait-Haddou, Bhekie Mamba, Raja Ben Amar, Abdoulaye Doucouré

A Glance at the Scientific Press

Contributors: Abdoulaye Doucouré &  Fred Molelekwa (Dir. External Relations , AMS)

The article entitled “Desalination of Simulated Seawater by purge-air Pervaporation using an Innovate Fabricated Membrane” was published by Ahmed El-Shafei (Research Scientist and faculty at Alexandria University in Egypt) in Water Science & Technology Journal in 2015. This research effort is found to be forward thinking as it places desalination technologies at the forefront of water resource management strategies in a region that is severely affected by drought. Instead of selecting reverse osmosis (RO) - the membrane process of choice for seawater desalination -  El-Shafei and his colleagues have opted for exploring pervaporation (permeation by evaporation):  a  technology that consumes far less energy than RO. Hence, they managed to synthesize asymmetric semipermeable membranes made from regenerated cellulose, highly hydrophilic and well suited for a fast –preferential- transport of water molecules. They were able to study and implement key operating conditions aimed at desalinating concentrated brine (up to 140g/l of NaCl) solutions while maintaining high fluxes.                                                                                     
However, some aspects of this program deserve further clarification; such as for instance the possible use of a conditioning protocol prior testing these membranes. Also, time references are found to be missing – i.e. which moments are selected as starting points?  What is the length of time intervals between two measurements? How long does an experiment last? Moreover, El-Shafei and his coworkers do not discuss concentration polarization and membrane fouling phenomena, and yet these can greatly alter the perm-selective properties of PV modules. Hence, we believe that there is merit to conduct another study (or publish more information) devoted to the following features: effects of membrane fouling (use of raw seawater) - implementation of cleaning protocols – benchmarking studies between these new PV membranes and some commercial specimens.

In summary, the research work conducted at the University of Alexandria by E-Shafei et al. is original as it invites us to consider the emergence of new concepts in the field of seawater desalination– i.e. development of hybrid PV-membrane distillation systems equipped with hydrophilic / hydrophobic filters; application of regenerated cellulosic membranes in forward osmosis; or concentration of saline water by reverse osmosis.



AMS Newsletter, issue 1, 2015 - Download PDF


The African Membrane Society is the result of discussions initiated in August 2010 in Bamako at a workshop of the Mali Symposium on Applied Sciences. Experts on water and membrane technologies present at the meeting had then expressed the wish to create a continental structure able to meet the following expectations:

  • form a critical mass of African experts in the field of membrane filtration, water treatment and renewable energy;

  • have a pan-African network where all continental cultures can discuss scientific and technological issues;

  • engage close partnerships with global elites in the field of filtration;

  • encourage the emergence of AMS as a scientific society; and promote partnership with the industry sector.

AMS virtual network was created in 2011 which comprised about thirty members from West Africa, North Africa and some members in North America. After the launching of a virtual platform, this group has appointed an interim executive body that continued to operate between 2012 and 2014.
AMS was officially created in August 2014 during a second international meeting in Bamako, and is headquartered at the National School of Engineers AB Touré of Bamako. Today, the association staff has doubled (65 members) and the website of the AMS counts more than 2,700 visitors.
AMS advocates for the study and exploitation of filtration processes focused on Water, Health, Energy and Environment.

In the area of water treatment, filtration units have several technological advantages for Africa (modularity and robustness of systems, consistency in water cleanliness, relative ease of use, etc.) and capital and operational costs tend to trend toward those of conventional platforms. The priority and the challenges for the AMS are to stimulate technological appropriation via the formation of a critical mass of experts and dissemination of scientific knowledge.

An encouraging sign of our time is that African States seem to have incorporated the need to mobilize and share priority resources of the continent to address transnational threats posed by armed conflicts, food crises, drought and epidemic risks. AMS welcomes these initiatives and believes that its success is closely tied to active mobilization of African policymakers. We will assuredly seek their support to help the best research centers of the continent sharing their skills with those who may benefit from them. We believe that doctoral students and young African professionals have an essential role to play in the consolidation, or even normalization, of these inter-state exchanges. It is in this light that we maintain close ties with the younger members of the AMS and provide them with various services such as mentoring programs, invitations to meetings of the Board, travel grants, awards for the best scientific contributions, and a section for young talent in the newsletter.

We believe that the development of partnerships in the filtration area outside of Africa is also essential. Our association has close ties with the Chair of the UNESCO-SIMEV (Science & Membranes for the Environment), the European Membrane Society, the European Membrane Institute, the Third World Academy of Science, the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, and the California Institute of Technology. Their support has encouraged the emergence of AMS; we are very grateful to them. On the other hand, we regularly exchange with the Aseanian Membrane Society and the North American Membrane Society to strengthen academic and industrial partnerships.
Therefore, AMS seeks to respond to major development issues in the African countries by promoting the use of membrane filtration in key areas such as water, health and the environment. In addition to providing technological and scientific knowledge, it aims at networking all stakeholders, including policy makers, industry and the population according to various ways of disseminating information and consultation (website, newsletters, regular international meetings and symposia, etc.).

Regarding the policymakers of African countries, their mobilization is essential for integrating these concerns into local policies.    Strengthening and enhancement of local skills through greater involvement of young PhD students and professionals is also a very important challenge that AMS wants to tackle. Finally, critical mass and visibility provided by the established wide network, participating in funding opportunities of pilot actions, and even more ambitious internationally involved future projects (including participation in competitive international calls).

 For short-term goals, here is the list of 2015 and 2016 priorities that AMS has set:

  • preparation of the next international meeting of the AMS in Sfax (Tunisia) in spring 2016;

  • publication of a thrice-yearly AMS newsletters ;

  • publication of an introductory membrane textbook on water treatment by African users;

  • updating the AMS website;

  • posting a database of African experts on filtration, membrane systems and water management.

This newsletter aims to providing greater visibility to AMS activities (members, resources, projects, etc.), to present current projects on the promotion of filtration processes in Africa, and to integrate contributions of our esteemed partners.

Abdoulaye DOUCOURE

We hope you enjoy reading the first issue!

AMS News

AMS is a scientific association, of public interest, not for profit, not accepting any form of discrimination within it. It is headquartered at the National School of Engineers Abderrahmane Baba Toure in Bamako.The permanence at its headquarter is assured by Professor Arona Coulibaly with whom you can communicate directly by e-mail:

Announcement Section

One of AMS flagship projects in the near future is the publication of a textbook on membrane technologies for undergraduate engineering students. To this end, AMS is calling for contributions from experts in the field of membranes, regardless of nationality, interested in participating to write a chapter of this book to contact one of the editorial board members through the following emails:

• Sidy BA ( ;
• Alexander ANIM-MENSAH ( ;
• Mady CISSE ( ;
• Abdoulaye DOUCOURE (

As part of its mission to promote membrane technologies, AMS will hold its next biennial conference in Tunisia. The event will be organized by Prof. Raja Ben Amar and her team at the University of Sfax, during the spring of 2016. An official announcement will follow soon. Stay tuned! The North American Membrane Society (NAMS) will hold its 25th annual meeting on membranes from May 30 to June 3, 2015 in Boston, MA, USA. During this scientific conference, AMS will be represented by some of its board members who will give presentations and talk about AMS.

Membrane & Filtration Research in Africa

Competitiveness of membrane technology in water treatment has greatly increased over the last decade. This is in large part due to the efficiency of this treatment process in removing small contaminants that often escape conventional methods, not requiring use of chemicals, and its relatively affordable energy consumption. Given these advantages, membrane technologies are essential in the coming years to meet the demand for ever increasing diverse water needs.

Thus, membrane technology dissemination initiatives are underway in Africa despite the fact that the cost of energy remains high in the continent compared to many other parts of the world. Indeed, a successful partnership between the National School of Engineers Abderrahmane Baba Touré (ENI-ABT) in Bamako, the Faculty of Science and Technology (FAST), Energie du Mali (EDM SA: the national energy company in charge of producing and distributing drinking water), PALL France and The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) has enabled a project for the treatment of surface water by a membrane technique. This study was conducted on a Pall microfiltration Aria AX2 unit and aimed to benchmark the efficacy of water treatment between this pilot and the current conventional system. The study was successfully conducted as part of a Master's thesis by Souleymane SOW. The results demonstrated predictable higher performance to reduce turbidity by the membrane technology; more surprisingly, less energy consumption per cubic meter of drinking water produced. The academic partners from ENI-ABT school can provide further insight on this research initiative.







Pall Aria MF/UF unit AX2
Bamako, Mal

Presentation of one of the project partners: ENI-ABT in Bamako

ENI-ABT is an institution of higher education in Mali whose mission is devoted to academic, professional and continuing training of engineers and technicians in the fields of energy, water and environment, civil engineering, geomantic, geology and mining, industry and telecommunications. To fulfill its mission, the school has 4 academic departments and research which are the Departments of Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Geodesy and Geology. Several workshops and laboratories are attached to the 4 departments and provide practical training to high qualified students of ENI-ABT. The school headquarters AMS and is located at:

410, Av. Van Vollenhoven,
BP 242, Bamako,
MALI Tél. : +223 20 22 27 36
Fax : +223 20 21 50 38

Images of ENI-ABT

Under AMS spotlight

The vision of AMS is to prepare and train a critical mass of African experts specialized in membrane science, water treatment processes and sustainable technologies in the field of energy. In line with this vision, AMS has initiated, with the material and financial support of its partners, an award program for young talents working in the field of membrane technologies in Africa. This program is designed to encourage these young people in their scientific and technological research on membranes.

At the 7th meeting of the Malian Society for Applied Sciences (Mali from August 3-8, 2014), AMS organized its second international workshop on the topic of "Water, Health and Environment ". During this workshop, thanks to the material and financial support of the Department of Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology and the European Society of membrane, AMS awarded three prizes for the best posters on the basis relevance of the membrane technology, graphics clarity, scientific innovation, logic and critical thinking. The winners of these prizes of € 200 each are:

• Ahmed HAMMAMI- Laboratory of Materials Science & Environment, Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, Tunisia;

• Tarik ELJADDI - Univ. Hassan II Fac. Science Ain Chock, Casablanca, Morocco and

• Saidou Nourou DIOP - FST, Univ. Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal.

April 15-17, 2014, AMS in collaboration with the Moroccan Society Membranes and Desalination and the UNESCO-SIMEV Chair (France) jointly organized an international seminar on “Sustainable Technological Processes for Water Treatment”. Several technical sessions were held in the presence of world-renowned experts in water treatment, membrane filtration and renewable energy. A competition was held for the best posters at the Casablanca conference which received material and financial support from the Department of Computer Science at the California Institute of Technology, the Groupe Inter Académique pour le Développement (France) and the European Membrane Society. Five prizes amounting to € 2,000 at 400 € per poster have been awarded to the following authors:
• Nouha TAHRI - Faculty of Sciences of Sfax – Tunisia ;
• Mohamad Mustapha DIEME – Senegal ;
• Hannane DACH - Fac Sciences FES Techniques - MOROCCO, A. ZDEG of Ibn Tofail University of Kenitra – Morocco ;
• A. ZDEG de l’Université d’Ibn Tofail of Kenitra – MAROC
• Larbi OULARBI - University of Mohammedia – Morocco.

AMS members are proud to award these prizes to young African talents who often work in difficult research conditions and still manage to generate some impressive results through hard work. We invite and encourage others involved in the promotion of membrane technologies to sponsor this award program for young African talents.

Le Coin de nos Partenaires

“The European Membrane Society supports membrane science and technology in Africa”

Bart Van der Bruggen,
President of the European Membrane

During the International Conference on Membranes and Membrane Processes (ICOM) in July 2014 in Suzhou, China, it was underlined that membrane science and technology has a global interest today. That may seem a logical remark, but it has not always been the case. Going back in time, to the origins of membrane separations, it was Japan, Europe and the USA who took the lead in organizing membrane activities, bringing researchers and the industry together, discussing about fundamentals and applications of membranes. It was evident that the core of the activities was organized in these parts of the world; these have stimulated progress in development of membrane processes enormously. In the scientific literature, the dominance of the traditional regions was evident in the 1980s and the 1990s. After the turn of the century membranes started conquering other parts of the world as well. The most impressive development has been in China. Starting from a nearly blank sheet, China managed to become in no less than two decades one of the leaders in membrane science and particularly, in membrane applications. The Asian continent organized the membrane network in the Aseanian Membrane Society (AMS), with as strong member countries the traditional Japan, but also Korea, China, and Australia. On the other side of the globe, Latin America found a natural partner in the North American Membrane Society (NAMS). Some of these countries have also seen an impressive progress. Countries like Mexico, Brasil, Argentina and Chile continue to put their mark in the membrane world.

In the Old Europe, the European Membrane Society (EMS) is very enthusiastic about this evolution. Nevertheless, the EMS Council that came in charge in 2013 wanted more than this. Some areas of the world still need to be stimulated to join in with membrane science and technology. We may think of large countries like India or Indonesia, emerging countries like Vietnam, or regions where tremendous investments have been made, such as the Middle-East. From the EMS point of view, however, the interest is in Africa - the continent that is not only geographically near but also in our minds. Europe has always cherished good its relationship with Africa, and this is even more so for scientists. The establishment of the African Membrane Society has attracted special attention from European membranologists, and Africa will have the support from Europe in stimulating membranes in every way: research in universities and knowledge centers, local expertise not only in these universities, but also in active industries, and applications in water and wastewater treatment, environmental protection, industrial production, or recycling. We recognize the enormous potential of filtration processes in Africa, and we strongly believe that it is possible. Even more: it is possible NOW. On the other hand, we also recognize the challenges. Africa is a large continent, in which networking is not evident. Sadly, this is further hampered by local and regional conflicts. North Africa and South Africa have traditionally a strong link with Europe. As a country, South Africa is already quite present in the filed field of membranes, but it remains somewhat out of the global societies. It is easy to see that this is a fantastic opportunity to spread membranes in all of Southern Africa! On the northern side of the continent, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, membranes are not unknown either. Once again it was not the lack of interest or expertise that hampered these countries, but interruptions triggered by instability. Today it is vital to come with a positive message of growth, development and stability. Membranes would help with this.

East Africa has a vast potential today, which is still unexplored - but will not remain so. The African network has been initiated in Mali, in West Africa. This is today a new area for membranes; as said, the practical difficulties have to be recognized but the start has been made, and difficulties are there to be overcome. It’s  ironic that membranes, which have separation functionalities, can serve globally to unite people and countries together in harmony, all with the same objective of a peaceful global society. The EMS strongly supports this, and reaches out to Africa.


Young researchers’ corner 

Young African scientists admirably contribute to the development of membrane technologies on their continent. We gave the floor to some of these future experts who will carry on the torch of the AMS :

  • Dr. Tarik ELJADDI, PhD researcher on membrane processes, polymers and environment in the Interface Laboratory of Interface Materials-Environment (LIME), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science Ain Chock University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco ;

Ms Nouha TAHRI, 4th year student enrolled in PhD program in Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, Tunisia, under the supervision of Professor Raja Ben Amar ;

  • Mr Ahmed Hammami is enrolled in 3rd year of the PhD program in Chemistry at the Faculty of Sciences of Sfax (Tunisia) under the direction of Prof. Raja Ben Amar.

Dr Tarik ELJADDI : The title of my thesis is "Study and quantification of the evolution in performance of different polymeric membranes designed  for directed processes aimed at extracting facilitated metal cations". As part of my thesis work, I was hosted as a visiting scientist at the Laboratory of Polymers, Biopolymers and Surfaces (PBS), university of Rouen, France. It is expected that I defend my thesis on March 2015.

C:\Users\eljaddi\Desktop\EU-METALIC postdoc\463801673723103.jpgTo date, I have published 16 articles on the membranes. I participated to numerous scientific events such EUROMEMBRANE 2012 in London, civil matters progress, environmental and materials research (ACEM 14) in South Korea, the first conference on the use of the membrane desalination in Barcelona, Spain, 2014. During these gatherings I performed oral or poster presentations. In addition, I am a reviewer for some journals such as Chemical Engineering Canadian Journal and Journal of Applied Polymer Science.

I am involved in various scientific activities. To this end, I am a member of the European Society of membranes (EMS), Moroccan society membranes and desalination (MSMD) and the African Society of Membranes (AMS).
Currently, I am actively looking for an opportunity of a postdoc on membrane technologies. You can see my publications on my Thomson Reuters space( or my account Linkedin (
Excerpt from the poster rewarded in Casablanca / 15-17 April 2014

Mme Nouha TAHRI : My thesis focuses on the preparation and development of new ceramic membranes based on porosity-controlled carbon filtration and their applications in wastewater treatment and for the purification of industrial phosphoric acid.

The benefits of membrane technology in the field of water treatment are well known: compared to conventional separation techniques (coagulation / sedimentation, sand filtration, activated carbon filtration grain ...), these processes offer the flexibility to eliminate in one step a wide range of pollutants while i) providing disinfection safety via the "physical retention "of microorganisms and pathogens, ii) delivering constant processed water quality and iii) reducing the use of chemicals. Originally used for the production of drinking water, these techniques are now widely used for the treatment of wastewater. The membrane material which ensures the separation can be an organic-based construct or some inorganic polymers. Recently, efforts have been devoted to design economically attractive and efficient membranes. They resulted in a selection of new materials, improved flawless thinner membranes preparation techniques and increased range of applications. But until now, very few studies are initiated for preparing asymmetric carbon/carbon membranes. In this work, we have devised the synthesis of asymmetric microfiltration and ultrafiltration membranes entirely in carbon and tested their application to the treatment of textile effluents at the laboratory scale. Tubular materials are prepared by extruding a plastic paste. The slip casting method is used for depositing a layer on the support. By optimizing the technique used for the deposition of layers, it will be possible to selectively create uniform and defect-free microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration layers.

Excerpt from the poster awarded in Casablanca / 15-17 April 2014

Mr Ahmed HAMMAMI: My work focuses on treating dye effluents from industrial textile wastewater    by using a hybrid process composed of adsorption and ultrafiltration. The goal is to eliminate pollutants, especially color in order to obtain reusable treated wastewater. AO7 dye solutions and dye wastewater are considered.
Two processes are considered:

  • separate processes of adsorption/UF (batch mode);

  • combined hybrid processes (continuous mode).

The effect of various parameters (temperature, pH, concentration, time, addition of additives) on the performance of both processes will help us choosing the best option.

AMS on the Scientific Press /Topic « Frugal Engineering »

In a recent perspective paper in Science (vol. 434, (6202), 1287-1290), Deb Niemeier et al. (2014) argue that complex technical innovation can be an impediment to sustainable global health improvement, especially in developing countries. (Deb Niemeier et al, Science, vol. 434, (6202), 1287-1290, 2014). To paraphrase the authors:  ‘’Strategies and  technological tools which have been favorable contributing factors in public health systems of wealthy countries have failed elsewhere mainly because of limited infrastructure and low-resource settings’’. Their proposed solutions stress multiple measures centered on a model of frugal design, i.e. one for which any engineering design step must account for a weak local infrastructure. However, we believe that Niemeier’s ‘’Template for success’’ should have discriminated societal needs that are specific to small communities versus those of large communities confronted with exploding demographics. In Africa for instance, one cannot neglect the technological divide existing between rural communities and the more populated areas that have access to more resource assets.  Although, fast-growing cities in developing countries can’t leverage operational infrastructure similar to that of wealthy nations, they still process high quantities of raw materials, generate high waste levels, and import many sophisticated items from rich countries. Hence, let’s not forget that context matters and that terminologies associated with “designs” must be nuanced. Thus, adaptive (or agile) engineering seems more appropriate for the bustling African cities having partial access to clean water and electricity.

D. Niemeier et al. article also contrasted the cellular phone technology – accessible to 6 billion persons around the  planet -  to the mixed outcome resulting from the adoption of  latrine or toilet systems – used by a mere 4.5 billon individuals. Indeed, mobile phone are a success story because service providers have managed to deploy a functional communication infrastructure worldwide and consumers have swiftly embraced the short-term value propositions – user friendliness, internet access for market investment, online banking, weather monitoring etc. However the disposal of portable phones poses a growing environmental challenge specifically in communities lacking any reliable solid waste management system. One should therefore acknowledge that current strategies of consumer electronics technology transfer bear a pressing environmental burden that needs to be addressed.

Last, this article emphasizes some prevalent educational pitfalls that affect many developing countries, including the reliance on outdated (often too theoretical) curricula, the limited teaching practices that do not foster innovation, the underpaid and non-motivated faculty, and the poorly equipped experimental laboratories. Niemeier et al. advocate for curricular reforms enabling “students to become successful practitioners of frugal design from a systems perspective”.  Indeed, such educational reforms can yield significant progress but other key learning aspects should not be compromised such as the study of fundamental engineering principles, the exposure to cutting-edge technological knowledge (through visits to and exchanges with top-tier schools) and the effects of socio-economic factors on supply chain sustainability. In fact, this topic warrants a deeper brainstorming on educational advancement, which can’t solely be framed around the model of frugal design.

Abdoulaye DOUCOURE
Sidy BA

“AMS is committed to promote excellence in academic and industrial research on membrane technologies in Africa.”

Director of publications of AMS, editor of the Newsletter: Sidy BA

The list of AMS Board members in this link:

AMS Newsletter, issue 3, February 3, 2017 - Download PDF (English)
AMS Newsletter, issue 2, September 30, 2016 - Download PDF (French Only)
AMS Newsletter, issue 1, May, 2015 - Download PDF- English