Researchers lack the tools for quantitatively evaluating the impact of their research on technology costs, especially when those technologies comprise multiple components or when the component costs are highly uncertain. A new publication from NAWI researchers proposes a suite of tools to aid in evaluating technology platforms, setting system- and component-level research targets and identifying high-impact innovation trajectories. These tools are applicable to any technology composed of multiple components whose performance or cost will benefit from innovation, but they are especially valuable for membrane systems in which the high interdependence in components amplifies or dampens the effects of innovation in nonintuitive ways. Read the paper published in PNAS here.
DOE’s Office of Science is now accepting applications for Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Awards. SCGSR graduate awardees receive supplemental funds to conduct part of their thesis research at a DOE National Lab/facility for a period of 3 to 12 consecutive months, with the goal of preparing them for STEM careers that help advance the DOE Office of Science mission.
This is a GREAT opportunity for graduate students at NAWI Alliance universities to explore doing some of their PhD research at a national lab. Past participants have found the experience to be intellectually and professionally outstanding, and this is one of the best ways to build their professional networks.
Possible NAWI-related topical areas include:
Eligibility – for full eligibility requirements, go here:
• Must be minimum age of 18 years, and US Citizen or Permanent Resident at the time of application
• Must be enrolled full-time in a Qualified Graduate Program with the Ph.D. as the degree objective, at an accredited college or university in the United States or its territories
• Graduate Research aligned with DOE Office of Science Research Programs
• Establishment of a Collaborating DOE Laboratory Scientist
The applicant and their primary graduate thesis advisor are responsible for identifying a collaborating research scientist at a DOE laboratory and jointly developing the research proposal as part of the SCGSR application process.
A note from NAWI Research Director Meagan Mauter. A year and a half into our research program, the NAWI community is beginning to generate significant research products. It is my pleasure to highlight several NAWI-themed special issues in leading water research journals where NAWI researchers can disseminate their work and NAWI alliance members can learn about cutting edge research relevant to their sectors.
The first special issue, entitled “Technology Baselines and Innovation Priorities for Water Treatment and Supply” is expected to be released by ACS ES&T Engineering this fall. Edited by NAWI’s industrial source water cartographer, Prof. Jaehong Kim of Yale University; NAWI’s agricultural source water co-cartographer, Prof. Dionysios Dionysiou of the University of Cincinnati; and myself, this issue will highlight both baseline data collected by the NAWI roadmapping team and complementary articles from the water research community. In sum, this special issue highlights rigorous assessments of the economic, energy, environmental, and social implications of a circular water economy transition. It will also highlight work that documents current state-of-the-art technologies for water reuse and establishes technology targets for future innovations. Finally, it highlights work that contextualizes the value of technology innovation and/or policy change in the transition to a circular water economy.
The second special issue, on “Water Purification” in NPJ Clean Water is currently open for submissions. Dedicated to highlighting advances in the purification of alternative (impaired) water sources, identifying the gaps and needs for freshwater provisions, state-of-the-art technologies and processes, and advances needed to reduce cost and energy of treating such waters, this Special Collection will be curated by Guest Co-Editors-in-Chief Professor Meagan Mauter, Stanford University, and Professor Arne Verliefde, Ghent University. The journal seeks cutting-edge papers in the fields of brackish groundwater and seawater desalination, municipal water recycling as well as industrial and agricultural water reclamation, recycling and reuse. Additional details are available on the NPJ Clean Water website.
We look forward to sharing the fruits of NAWI’s investments in APRIME water desalination technologies with the water research community through these two special issues!
DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO – the sponsor of NAWI) has recently expanded its Better Plants Program to include a specific opportunity for makers of water and wastewater treatment technologies. The Industrial Technology Validation program provides support for water and wastewater equipment manufacturers to install and validate the cost- and energy-savings performance of their systems. DOE pays all the costs of the measurement and validation process including purchasing and installing sensors and data loggers, and designing and executing a high-quality Measurement and Validation (M&V) protocol. Manufacturers and their customer partners benefit from having a highly credible, independent analysis of the performance of their product – very valuable for marketing new technologies. More information about the Industrial Technology Validation Pilot and the Better Plants program can be found here.
NAWI has outlined what it will take to achieve water sustainability through innovative water-treatment technology in a master technology roadmap.
NAWI Executive Director Peter S. Fiske writes about what we must do to address the mounting water crisis.
The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) announced today that ExxonMobil has officially joined the Alliance as a member. In 2019 NAWI was selected to lead a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy-Water Desalination Hub to support United States water security. As a founding member of the NAWI Research Consortium, ExxonMobil is part of a world-class team of industry and academic partners formed to examine the critical technical barriers and research needed to radically lower the cost and energy of desalination.
“We’re pleased to support the efforts of the National Alliance for Water Innovation,” said Monte Dobson, ExxonMobil Unconventional Technology Development Manager. “We will leverage our capabilities to jointly develop a roadmap of different technologies to find beneficial ways to use treated produced water.”
The NAWI Research Consortium is headquartered at Berkeley Lab and includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, 19 founding university partners, and 10 founding industry partners including Exxon Mobil. NAWI’s goal is to advance a portfolio of novel technologies that will secure a circular water economy in which 90% of nontraditional water sources – such as seawater, brackish water, and produced waters – can be cost-competitive with existing water sources within 10 years.
“ExxonMobil’s objectives align well with the research space of NAWI. We are excited to have them as part of our team as we embark on our research efforts,” said Dr. Peter Fiske, NAWI Executive Director.
In the NAWI Alliance, the four national laboratories and founding industry and academic partners are joined by a member community of hundreds of public and private sector organizations – all focused on the future of water treatment and stability of water supplies for U.S. industries and communities.
Each member hopes to influence technology development by participating in steering and technical working groups to help develop research roadmaps and review research projects.
Find a link to the official Press Release here.