Bringing together multiple disciplines from across the University of Arizona campus, WEST Center serves as a venue through which public and private organizations with interests in water and energy can increase the existing body of scientific knowledge related to water and wastewater treatment and monitoring, alternative energy, and related technologies.
WEST research is focused on water and energy technology-related topics. However, WEST Center is nimble and flexible, and able to focus on other immediately relevant issues as they arise. Of special emphasis at WEST Center is solution-oriented research. Examples include:
- Analytical detection methods
- Drinking water treatment systems and components
- On-line water quality sensors
- Bioanalytical testing (in vivo and in vitro)
- Wastewater treatment systems and components
- Distribution system water quality issues (THM formation, corrosion, biofilm, etc.)
- Concentrate management
- Alternative energy resources
- Electrical generation efficiency improvements (reduced water use, GHG emission, etc.) and more.
Because of the unique laboratory space and direct access to wastewater, technology research, development and testing takes place at the bench, pilot, and demonstration scale. University of Arizona faculty and staff, visitors, and students all contribute to research initiatives and outcomes at WEST Center.
Featured WEST Center Research
Anammox for Side Stream Treatment of Effluent aims to investigate the efficiency and cost-savings of removing NH4 from effluent using the anammox process.
PIs: Jim Field (UA), Reyes Sierra-Alvarez (UA), Jeff Prevatt (Pima County), Guangbin Li (UA), and Ian Pepper (UA)
Status: On-going at WEST Center
Reclaimed water can be treated to produce potable water safe for human consumption, but public perception (the "yuck factor') is an impediment. This project seeks to change perception through an advanced treatment demonstration truck and creative use for resulting water: beer!
PIs: Jeff Prevatt (Pima County), Chuck Gerba (UA), and Ian Pepper (UA)
Status: Complete; Water treatment truck available for demonstration
The use of microfiltration (MF) membrane has been limited to pre-treatment of high-pressure membranes. This research effort aims to improve virus rejection by ceramic MF with pre-coagulation, while minimizing organic fouling.
PIs: Shane Snyder (UA), Minkyu Park (UA)
Project Status: Ongoing (2016-2018)
Current WEST Center Research
- Detection of waterborne adenoviruses by inductively coupled plasma mass spectometry based magnetic immunoassay with gold nanoparticles labeling; Walter Q. Betancourt, Christina M. Morrison, Christiane Hoppe-Jones, Shane A. Snyder; 2018; UA Research, Discovery, and Innovation
- Evaluation of ozone decay characteristics in waters with various qualities; Shane Snyder (UA), Minkyu Park (UA), Israel Lopez (UA); 2018; PWNT Water Technology
- Literature review for the occurrence of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in wastewater; Shane Snyder (UA), Minkyu Park (UA), Tharun Murali (UA); 2018; CHPA
- Specific, Rapid Quantification of Fecal Contamination; Walter Q. Betancourt, Charles P. Gerba; 2018-2019; AZDA Specialty Crop Block Grant