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University of New South Wales

1. Almeida Lima, Valeria Ingrith. In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation.

Degree: Chemical Engineering, 2018, University of New South Wales

A novel membrane based irrigation system, which responds to changes in water potential in the root zone, was used to germinate and cultivate Phaseolus vulgaris in controlled growth cabinets and glasshouse experiments. Seed germination in membrane irrigation was equal to conventional surface irrigation on variable salinity water (0.2 dS/m to 3.1 dS/m), however, soil salt accumulation was 40% lower with membrane compared to conventional irrigation. Water demand after 16 days under conventional irrigation increased from 4.6 to 8.5 mm/day in response to increased temperature (25 °C to 30 °C) and lower humidity (80%RH to 40%RH). Under the same conditions, water demand with membrane irrigation changed from 4.6 to 8.6 mm/day (Tukey test at p<0.05). In dynamic field tests the same average yield was achieved with membrane irrigation as with conventional irrigation but at 25% higher plant water use efficiency, provided the membrane could sustain water transport at peak plant demand. Average yield at 60 days for conventional irrigation (0.017 kg/plant at 10.2 kg/m3 water efficiency) was statistically equivalent to membrane irrigation (0.015 kg/plant at 12.8 kg/m3) using thin film polyamide membrane cast on a woven support (p<0.05). In contrast, the average yield was 0.006 kg/plant (11.4 kg/m3) for a thin film polyamide membrane cast on a composite structure consisting of ultrafiltration membrane with a non-woven polyester support. Measurements of leaf gas exchange at peak water demand after 41 days was 16.2 micromole CO2/m2/s for the control compared to 13.6 micromole CO2/m2/s for the polyamide with woven support and 6.6 micromole CO2/m2/s for the polyamide with the non-woven support. The observed differences in plant carbon assimilation can be attributed to differences in the resistance imposed by the two membrane structures on water transport. More importantly, carbon (d13C) and nitrogen (d15N) isotopes (measures of water and nitrogen use) of green bean pods and leaves were statistically equivalent for plants grown on membrane and conventional irrigation, indicating consistency of yield quality. Results indicate that membrane irrigation may be a solution for improved water use efficiency in a drier and warmer climate and allow use of brackish water without exacerbating soil salinization. Advisors/Committee Members: Le-Clech, Pierre, UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science & Technology, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW, Leslie, Gregory, UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science & Technology, Faculty of Engineering, UNSW.

Subjects/Keywords: Irrigation water management; Membrane technology; Subsurface irrigation; Membrane-based irrigation

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APA (6th Edition):

Almeida Lima, V. I. (2018). In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of New South Wales. Retrieved from http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/59574 ; https://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:48964/SOURCE02?view=true

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Almeida Lima, Valeria Ingrith. “In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation.” 2018. Doctoral Dissertation, University of New South Wales. Accessed October 13, 2019. http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/59574 ; https://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:48964/SOURCE02?view=true.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Almeida Lima, Valeria Ingrith. “In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation.” 2018. Web. 13 Oct 2019.

Vancouver:

Almeida Lima VI. In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of New South Wales; 2018. [cited 2019 Oct 13]. Available from: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/59574 ; https://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:48964/SOURCE02?view=true.

Council of Science Editors:

Almeida Lima VI. In-situ desalination with novel membranes for climate resilient irrigation. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of New South Wales; 2018. Available from: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/59574 ; https://unsworks.unsw.edu.au/fapi/datastream/unsworks:48964/SOURCE02?view=true

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