New UT center to address water purification technologies

The Center for Materials for Water and Energy SysTems (M-WET), a new multi-university research center headquartered in The University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, was recently announced.

The M-WET seeks to address basic science knowledge gaps in the development of next-generation, polymer membrane-based water purification technologies, according to a UT News article.

The center will bring together leading experts from UT Austin, University of California, Santa Barbara and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to apply state-of-the-art materials synthesis, characterization and modeling to this research area.

Conventional water treatment systems can produce high-quality water, but treatment of complex waters associated with energy production, water reuse and industrial applications requires more advanced technologies. Synthetic polymer membranes can provide this level of advanced treatment, but basic science challenges frustrate widespread deployment of polymer membranes for water purification in applications important for energy.

M-WET’s team of engineers and scientists will combine their fundamental understanding of water chemistry, polymer science, surface chemistry and materials science with their practical knowledge of water treatment and membrane processes to begin developing next-generation membranes for treatment of complex water sources, such as water produced from hydraulic fracturing.

Continue reading the UT News article.

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