Two newly-funded research initiatives at WEST seek to improve membrane processes for advanced water purification.
The first project, spearheaded by WEST Center's Dr. Andrea Achilli, Dr. Kerri Hickenbottom, and Dr. Minkyu Park, will focus on near zero-liquid discharge water reuse with a closed-circuit ozone-membrane distillation process. Awarded funding by the Bureau of Reclamation in early September, 2018, the project will test technologies to prevent fouling and scaling in membrane distillation. Membrane distillation, a thermally-driven technology, may provide a solution to the problem of concentrate disposal in inland water reuse (a byproduct of salt-removing reverse osmosis). The research, to be conducted over one and a half years, aims to improve water recovery while utilizing waste heat sources for the membrane distillation process.
The second project, sponsored by RAPID Manufacturing Institute, will develop a short course to train graduate students and other professionals on membrane intensification and processes at WEST Center. The one and a half year project will be led by Dr. Andrea Achilli, Dr. Eduardo Saez, and Dr. Kimberly Ogden. The resulting training will include lectures, modeling, and hands-on experimental work, and be designed to be offered yearly at UA's WEST Center. The RAPID Project Selection Announcement was made public on August 27, 2018. The project summary, as published by RAPID, contains additional information (below).
(8) RAPID Integrated Course: Emerging Membrane Processes for Water Purification