In a collaborative project between Dr. Robert Norwood of the College of Optical Sciences and Dr. Andrea Achilli of the Department of Chemical Engineering and WEST Center, research is being conducted on a process to use heat produced from solar technology for water desalinization. Essentially, the project combines membrane technology and solar heat to transform wastewater into a drinkable resource.
The sunlight collection system being used was developed by Dr. Norwood, and splits light into a bandwidth used for energy production and a bandwidth to produce heat. As stated by Dr. Achilli, this separation is very nice for water purification – Thermal processes are used in water reuse.
A video, produced by the University of Arizona’s Institute for Energy Solutions (IES) provides more information on this nexus research. To view the IES video, follow the link below: