Most Cited Desalination Article since 2012 is co-authored by Swansea Engineering Professor and his team

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A paper published by Elsevier and authored by Professor Nidal Hilal and his team at Swansea University has become the most cited article in the international journal Desalination since 2012 according to SciVerse ScienceDirect, a leading full-text scientific database

The paper on ‘Membrane distillation: A comprehensive review’ addresses membrane characteristics, membrane-related heat and mass transfer concepts, fouling and the effects of operating condition. Membrane Distillation (MD) process has various applications, such as desalination, wastewater treatment and in the food industry. It has been cited 413 times according to Scopus and 586 times according to google scholar since publication in February 2012.

This is the first time a scientific paper on desalination submitted from CWATER has earned this distinction, further reiterating the pioneering contribution by Engineering at Swansea University towards innovation of new technologies. ScienceDirect offers journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and over 11,000 books.

SciVerse ScienceDirect database is the measure of papers’ importance, with statistics on papers and how many times they are cited or downloaded by academics, researchers and industrialists across the world.

The paper was published in the international journal Desalination. The paper titled ‘Membrane distillation: A comprehensive review’ was co-authored by Professor Nidal Hilal, and Abdullah Alkhudhiri, a PhD student working under the supervision of Prof Hilal and Dr Nailf Darwish from the American University of Sharjah, was published in Desalination, Volume 287, November 2012, (

Nidal Hilal speaking

Professor Hilal said: “The interest in desalination technologies is growing due to the fact that there is insufficient fresh water to meet the daily drinking and sanitation needs of all the earth’s inhabitants. Worldwide desalinated water supply must triple by 2020 to meet the demands of a growing human population. It is a fact now that desalination is a technology of choice, as the global water desalination market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.5% over the next 10 years.

“We are delighted to know that our work is cited and downloaded by other researchers and industrialists in the desalination community around the globe. This truly reflects Swansea University’s internationally leading research in water and desalination technologies. We hope our findings play significant role in providing clean water to humanity as 780 million – approximately one in nine on the planet – lack access to an improved water source.”

He also added: “The paper downloaded and cited on an international level by academics, researchers, industrialists and students reflect the importance of the research and the findings for other researchers and industrialists, and therefore its significance to scientific and industrial communities. The most cited status also demonstrates that desalination is generating substantial interest among the scientific and industrial communities and the public, strongly indicating that it could be a viable option to the world that is severely suffering from lack of fresh water.”