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The Water Treatment Technology Program Newsletter - No. 4 - Spring 1996


Reclamation's Water Treatment Technology Program (WTTP) objectives include: perform research to reduce the costs of desalting and water treatment; encourage cost-shared research; promote energy efficient and environmentally attractive technologies; and promote technology transfer. For more information about the WTTP, contact Kevin Price at 303-445-2260.

Following are the projects within the various tasks which received funding at the start of the fiscal year last October. All contracts and cooperative agreements are 50/50 cost-shared, with Reclamation funding about $60,000, $25,000, and $150,000 each for Tasks 3, 5, and 6, respectively. Task 5 contracts fall under the high risk, low investment category.


Two new broad agency announcement (BAA) contracts were awarded:

University of Colorado at Boulder will study: "Backpulsing Membrane Process." The study will involve development of a novel, rapid backpulsing membrane process, for the treatment of water streams containing particulates, microorganisms, and/or dispersed oil droplets, with expected improvements in net long-term fluxes while maintaining high permeate quality.

M&P Technology, Inc., of Pittsburgh, PA, in conjunction with Golden Technologies Co., Inc., of Golden, CO, will study: "Molecular Sieving Hollow Fiber Ceramic Membranes for Reverse Osmosis/Nanofiltration (RO/NF) Applications." The study objectives include: develop a hollow fiber ceramic membrane for RO/NF applications; establish a performance database; evaluate fouling resistance; demonstrate chemical stability; and determine the capital and operating cost advantages.

One cooperative agreement was extended:

ZENON Environmental, Inc., of Burlington, Ontario was awarded the Phase II study of: "Development of an Advanced Transverse Flow Nanofiltration Membrane Process for High Performance Desalination." The Phase II work will continue the Phase I development of a novel, commercially viable hollow fiber nanofiltration module for brackish water application, including modifications needed to improve performance and reduce costs.


Three new BAA contracts were awarded:

CLF Technologies, Inc., of Denver, CO will study: "Water Treatment for Metals with Microalgal Bioadsorbents." The study will involve: use of biomass from microbial sources, particularly the microalgae, to absorb heavy metal ions during remediation efforts; and use of specific types of biomass which can be tailored to specific applications for processing of waste streams with multiple metal contamination, and/or a wide range of concentration.

City College of the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will study: "Biological Stability of Drinking Water through Treatment Processes." The study tasks include: evaluate the effects of ozonation on the potential for biological regrowth in drinking water using the attached growth rate estimation method; and develop correlations between biological stability and routinely measured water quality parameters.

University of North Dakota and B.C. Technologies, Ltd., of Laramie, WY will study: "Evaluation of the Natural Freeze-Thaw (FT) Process for the Desalination of Groundwater from the Dakota Aquifer to Provide Water for Grand Forks, North Dakota." The study tasks include: conduct a bench-scale simulation of the FT process to confirm technical feasibility; assess State and Federal regulatory requirements for demonstration of the process; evaluate the Dakota Aquifer as a potential water supply; evaluate equipment requirements; design a full scale demonstration facility; and determine the cost for a water treatment facility.


Three Phase II cooperative agreements were awarded:

Thermal Energy Storage, Inc., of San Diego, CA will study: "Clathrate Freeze Desalination System." The Phase II study will include building, operation, and testing of a clathrate freeze desalination facility to demonstrate that the technology is capable of producing potable water from seawater at a cost favorably comparable to inland sources.

Science Applications International Corp., with assistance from VARI-Power Co., both of San Diego, CA, will study: "VARI-RO Integrated Pump & Energy Recovery System." The Phase II study will include building and testing of a newly-developed integrated pumping and energy recovery system for sea and brackish water RO desalting applications.

University of Texas at El Paso will study: "RO/NF Desalting & Concentrate Disposal Systems." The Phase II study will include building, operating, and evaluating a low-pressure, high-recovery RO/NF membrane desalting pilot plant. Several concentrate disposal techniques will also be studied for economic and technical feasibility.

One new BAA contract was awarded:

Environmental Ingenuity Group of Santa Rosa, CA, will study: "Solar Evaporation & Water Recovery Unit." The project will test and evaluate a commercially available low temperature evaporation unit to concentrate saline water (brine concentrator).


The National Centers for Water Treatment Technology (NCWTT) is a WTTP technology transfer effort, co-sponsored by Reclamation, the US Army, and the National Water Research Institute. NCWTT is a consortium of Federal agencies, private companies, and universities who are willing to make their research test facilities, expertise, and other resources available to any researcher who has developed a promising new desalting or water treatment technology, but does not have adequate facilities to test it.

The mission of NCWTT is to facilitate, coordinate, and integrate national research to develop and promote water purification technology. The goals are to: develop and implement a strategy that will create and cultivate partnerships between Government, industry, and academia that will facilitate research and enhance technology transfer of research products; promote the cost-effective allocation of financial, human, and facility resources; and establish and maintain an information and data exchange system to improve the coordination between engineering and technology transfer. The task of identifying the publicly and privately owned laboratories, facilities, and pilot plant equipment in the US capable of undertaking water research and technology development is presently being updated and compiled by David Furukawa of Separation Consultants, Inc. For more information about NCWTT, contact Kevin Price at 303-445-2260.


Visit the WTTP on our new internet site at http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/water/


Water from Water is published by Reclamation's Water Treatment Engineering and Research Group - Susan Martella, Editor. For more information about the DesalR&D program, contact Kevin Price at: Bureau of Reclamation, 86-69000, PO Box 25007, Denver CO 80225; phone (303) 445-2260; or e-mail a message to MPrice@usbr.gov.