As water demand keeps rising and viable supplies dry out, creative approaches are required to make smarter use, and reuse, of existing water. This is the mission of the new Center for Materials for Water and Energy SysTems (M-WET), a multi-university research center headquartered in The University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering.
The US DOE-funded center unites researchers from UT Austin; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Engineers and scientists from the three member schools will approach the challenge of water recycling in multiple ways:
- Address basic science knowledge gaps in the development of polymer membrane-based water purification technologies.
- Apply state-of-the-art materials synthesis, characterization, and modeling to the research area.
- Combine a fundamental understanding of water chemistry, polymer/materials science and surface chemistry with their practical knowledge of water treatment and membrane processes.
Ultimately, this work will lead to developing next-generation membranes for treatment of complex water sources, such as the water generated from hydraulic fracturing and ongoing oil and gas production.
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For more information about M-WET, contact: Johnny Holden, Cockrell School of Engineering, 512-529-6013.