Michael Mickley's Membrane and Desalination Background and Experiences
Dr. Mickley has over
34 years of experience in the field of membrane and desalination
technology, beginning with thesis work for graduate degrees.
This experience ranges from the theoretical to the practical
and includes research, development and manufacturing experiences
with both products and processes, consulting, giving invited
presentations in the U.S. and Europe, and the teaching of a
graduate school course in membrane technology.
-- This work at the University of Colorado was in connection
with the use of membranes in the biomedical industry.
Master's Thesis - concerned with the mathematical modeling
of an artificial kidney membrane device.
Doctoral Thesis - involved the theoretical modeling of mass
transport through synthetic membranes and the experimental
determination of concentration gradients and fluxes through
membranes using a laser interferometer.
-- In 1976, Dr. Mickley began working with Cobe Laboratories
of Lakewood, Colorado, a medical device company whose products
included hollow fiber and flat plate membrane artificial kidneys.
process controller of the hollow fiber artificial kidney manufacturing
process, Dr. Mickley performed a design optimization of the
product, developed quality control procedures, and improved
the manufacturing yield.
As manager of Advanced Projects Department, he had full technical
responsibilities for the development of a new product line
- a system of hardware and software devices for continuous
separation of plasma from blood by means of microporous membrane
technology and centrifuge technology.
In the same position, he had full responsibility for a membrane
development program aimed at the in-house manufacture of less
expensive, high quality membranes for several Cobe products.
He developed a new cellulose solvent system for use in membrane
production, cast flat sheet membranes and spun hollow fiber
membranes at a laboratory scale.
Coury and Associates
-- In 1980, Dr. Mickley began work at this small engineering
services and consulting company whose work included process
research and design for the geothermal, desalination, water
treatment and energy industries. Most of the work did not involve
membranes per se, but much of it involved water treatment.
Developed selective ultrafiltration process that utilized
complexing agents to modify transport properties of selected
solutes for their removal and recovery.
Determined mechanisms and conditions under which silica scales
reverse osmosis membrane devices.
Mickley & Associates
-- Since the formation of Mickley & Associates in 1984, several
projects have involved membranes.
of proprietary techniques for modifying surfaces of membranes.
graduate chemical engineering course in membrane technology;
sponsored by both the University of Colorado and the National
Bureau of Standards.
for a large mining and mineral company on the cleanup of wastewaters
for recovery of metals and the reuse of water.
for large California power company on treatment of contaminated
contracts with the USDA on the modification of membrane surfaces
for membrane processing of irrigation runoff waters.
contract with DOE on developing surface modified membranes
for softening applications.
for major biotechnology company on the use of and cost of
membrane processing in separation and purification schemes.
with National Bureau of Standards on a project involving the
research and development and possible commercialization of
a unique type of membrane.
as member of the ASTM Committee E-48 on Biotechnology; developing
standards in membrane separation of bioproducts.
on several thesis committees for graduate students in the
Department at University of Colorado for work involving membranes.
Investigator on 2-year study to address issues concerning
the disposal of membrane concentrate waste, for the American
Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF). Resulted
in book, Membrane Concentrate Disposal.
feasibility of new membrane product ideas for leading ion
research (NSF SBIR contract) to develop low-fouling ultrafiltration
pre due diligence study evaluating technology, market, and
staff of membrane/membrane device company being considered
for possible purchase by major company.
R&D services for a major producer and washer of aluminum
cans for the development of a new detergent system complete
with membrane process recovery of detergent and recycle
of process waters.
consulting services for diagnosing membrane performance
problems with commercial membrane systems. Tasks include
water analysis, analysis of scaling and fouling potential,
analysis of operating records, membrane wet tests, membrane
autopsy, and analysis of foulants/scalants.
feasibility of using ultrafiltration and microfiltration
ahead of reverse osmosis as a pretreatment step for various
small membrane area tests for determination of fouling characteristics
due to irreversible fouling.
training sessions for operations personnel of membrane treatment
several Florida membrane drinking water plants in their
permitting efforts dealing with membrane concentrate discharge
to surface waters.
the award for best poster presentation at the 1994 Biennial
Conference and Exposition of the American Desalting Association
held at Palm Beach, Florida. The poster was entitled "The
Usefulness of Networking in the Design and Operation of
speaker at the International Water Supply Association workshop
on Membranes in Drinking water Production held in Paris
on March 27 - 29, 1995. Presentation is entitled "Regulation
and Disposal of Membrane Concentrate in the United States."
of membrane concentrate disposal workshop at AWWA Membrane
Technology Conference held in Reno, Nevada, August 1995.
Four presentations: two at workshops and two at conference
sessions. Titles include: "Promoting the Benefits of Membrane-Produced
Drinking Water' and "Membrane Concentrate and Common Ion
1995) received $212,000 contract from American Water Works
Association Research Foundation (AWWARF) to study of common
ion toxicity in membrane concentrates
1995) consulting work for VBB Viak, Stockholm, Sweden in
area of membrane concentrate disposal.
1995) gave several presentations as part of a pollution
prevention workshop in San Jose, Costa Rica
1996) Invited presentation at the American Water Works Association
Research Foundation (AWWARF) Tampa Technology Transfer Conference:
Meeting The Management Challenge Through Research. February
8-9, 1996. Tampa."
1996) Contributing author to Technology Transfer Handbook:
Management of Water Treatment Plant Residuals. April 1996.
EPA/626/R-95/008. ASCE and AWWA.
1996) Invited presentation at "The Role of Membrane Technology
for Water Quality Improvement" workshop at Ben Gurion University,
Beer-Sheva, Israel, May 8-9, 1996.
1997) consulting work for Black & Veatch, Gaithersburg,
Maryland on reviewing disposal options for membrane-based
plant planned to treat effluent from computer chip manufacturing
1997) Presentation entitled 'Essential Ion Toxicity in Membrane
Concentrates' given at American Water Works Association
(AWWA) Membrane Conference, New Orleans.
1997) Invited presentation for the annual meeting of the
States Association of Drinking Water Administrators in Savannah.
Topic in membrane concentrate disposal and toxicity issues.
Consulting work for various Florida drinking water utilities
dealing with membrane concentrate disposal to surface waters.
1998) Outstanding Paper Presentation award given for presentation
given at 1998 American Desalting Association North American
Biennial Conference & Exposition, Williamsburg, Virginia,
October, 1998) grant from Bureau of Reclamation to conduct
an in-depth survey (with emphasis on waste disposal practices)
of all membrane drinking water and wastewater facilities
in the US as well as all public and private thermal desalination
plants in the US; regulations affecting concentrate disposal
will be reviewed on a state-by-state basis; disposal issues
will be identified and discussed
1998) consulting work for contractor to Los Alamos National
Laboratories on disposal of membrane concentrate
1998) Invited presentation in the United Kingdom to IChemE
Water Subject Group Meeting entitled 'RO Membrane Concentrates'
November 23, Nottingham.
Development of broad laboratory protocol to allow definition
of all causes of toxicity that might be present in membrane
concentrate; this will supplement EPA TIES and Florida protocols
1999) Invited presentation given in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
for the AWWARF Technology Transfer Conference entitled "Advancing
the Science of Water: Research Solutions to Treatment, Distribution,
and Management Problems."
1999) Bureau of Reclamation grant being extended to include
task of gathering cost information associated with concentrate
consulting work for Black & Veatch, Las Vegas, Nevada on definition
and evaluation of thermal desalination technologies for treatment
of membrane concentrate and production of drinking water,
and on disposal of any resulting waste streams; part of Research
and Development of the Saline Shallow Aquifer in the Southeastern
Las Vegas Valley; project funded by Southern Nevada Water