Centre for Osmosis Research and Applications (CORA)


CORA was set up in 2003 to address the global problems of fresh water availability and the treatment and disposal of wastewater. Since then, the Centre’s research activities have resulted in a number of  inventions and novel technologies in the areas of desalination, water treatment and renewable energy.

Manipulated Osmosis Technology, which was invented by Professor Adel Sharif and Mr Abdulsalam Al-Mayahi in 2003, has the potential to make a global impact in reducing the carbon footprint of desalination plants whilst also enabling greater access to fresh water supplies.

The MO can be used in the construction of new desalination plants and integrated into both existing thermal desalination and reverse osmosis desalination plants, significantly reducing their carbon footprint, and reducing capital costs, power consumption and other operating costs.. The MO technology also offers applications in water treatment for cooling towers, secondary oil recovery and renewable power generation; namely Hydro Osmotic Power (HOP).  

The MO technology has been brought to market is an impressive speed. Surrey Aqua Technology was formed on November 2006, and in the space of less than three years Modern Water plc ( has established an internationally qualified management team, raised £30m, giving the company a market value of £70m, and commenced commercial scale proving plant operation. The first commercial plant of MW based on CORA invented desalination process has been operating and providing water to the public in Gibraltar since March 2009. The second commercial plant has been successfully operational since October 2009 in Oman. The third plant was commissioned in Oman in November 2010.

Prof. Sharif, Director of CORA was awarded the Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in 2005. He is also the winner of the inaugural Business Science ACES, the Academic Enterprise Awards 2008, at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. Modern Water was the winner of the AIM Sustainability Award 2009, and shortlisted for the Desalination Company of the Year at the GWI Water Awards 2011. CORA water technologies were awarded the IChemE 2011 innovation and excellence award in the Water Supply and Management category. Also very recently Surrey University won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for the water research which CROA has played a major role. CORA received the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Challenge Award for its plans to transfer the results of its research and training to help improve conditions in water stressed region of the world.

Recently the MO desalination technology has scored 8.9 at the Desalination Technologies ‘Coefficient of Desalination Reality’ scores in an independent study at the Water Desalination Report (44, Nov. 2010), by the Global Water Intelligence. The score is the highest of all new technologies in the sector.

CORA boasts a rapidly expanding portfolio of research activities in the area of desalination and renewable power generation applications, and has, as its long-term mission, to become a centre of excellence worldwide in desalination and water treatment technologies. CORA has a strong and steadily increasing team of 20 members, including academic staff, senior researchers and PhD students as well as a technician.

For further information please contact:  

Professor Adel Sharif
Director, Centre for Osmosis Research & Applications
Chemical & Process Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences
University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, England, UK.

Tel: +44(0)1483 68 6584
Fax: +44(0)1483-686581 

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