Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Desalination roadmap seeks technological solutions to increase the nation’s water supply

07.06.2006


Sandia researchers ready to complete research roadmap



After one last meeting in San Antonio in April, Sandia National Laboratories researchers Pat Brady and Tom Hinkebein are putting the final touches on the updated Desalination and Water Purification Roadmap -- "Roadmap 2" -- that should result in more fresh water in parts of the world where potable water is scarce.

The updated roadmap is the result of three previous meetings -- two in San Diego and one in Tampa -- and the last held in April where many government agency, national laboratory, university and private partners gathered to map out the future of desalination in the U.S. The first roadmap identified overall goals and areas of desalination research and was submitted to Congress in 2003.


Brady expects the second roadmap to be completed shortly, and the Joint Water Reuse and Desalination Task Force will then submit it to Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Congress and eventually the water user and research communities. The task force consists of the Bureau of Reclamation, the WaterReuse Foundation, the American Water Works Association Research Foundation and Sandia.

The roadmap will recommend specific areas of potential water desalination research and development that may lead to technological solutions to water shortage problems.

"Population growth in the U.S. is expected to increase 13.6 percent per decade [over the next two decades]," says Hinkebein, manager of Sandia’s Geochemistry Department and head of Sandia’s Advanced Concepts Desalination Group. "There will be 29 percent more of us in 20 years. Put that together with an unequal distribution of people -- more moving to Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico where fresh water is limited -- and it is easy to see we are facing a challenging water future."

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

Only 0.5 percent of Earth’s water is directly suitable for human consumption. The rest is composed of saltwater or locked up in glaciers and icecaps. As the world’s population grows, the increased water demand will have to come from someplace. Brackish water seems to be a natural source, Hinkebein says.

Roadmap 2 will outline the specific research needed in high-impact areas to create more fresh water from currently undrinkable brackish water, from seawater, and from wastewater. It will ensure that different organizations are not duplicating research.

Water desalination is not a new concept. In the U.S., the largest plants are in El Paso and Tampa. It is also commonplace in other parts of the world. Except for the Middle East, most desalination is done through reverse osmosis.

Brady says 43 research areas have been tentatively identified and some projects are already under way, jump started with $2 million made available for the preliminary research through a matching grant from the California Department of Water Resources. California provided $1 million and members of the Joint Water Reuse and Desalination Task Force each contributed $250,000.

Another $4 million in fiscal years 2004, 2005 and 2006 through federal Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills secured by Domenici has also funded desalination research at Sandia.

"The task force will decide which of the 43 projects get to the top of the research pile," Brady says. "As more money is made available, universities, research groups, national laboratories and private companies will bid on projects."

The 43 research areas in Roadmap 2 include the following:

  • Membrane technologies (mainly reverse osmosis) that desalinate and purify water by pushing it through a semipermeable membrane that removes contaminants.
  • Alternative technologies that take advantage of nontraditional methods.
  • Concentrate management technologies that consider the disposal and/or beneficial use of desalination waste streams.
  • Reuse/recycling technologies that look at ways membrane and alternative technologies can be used to more efficiently recycle water.

Much of the research could be conducted at the soon-to-be-completed Tularosa Basin National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo.

Chris Burroughs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sandia.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>