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The Water Desalination Research & Development Program Newsletter * Special Edition * 1998

INTRODUCTION

Through the Water Desalination Research & Development (DesalR&D) Program, Reclamation is forming partnerships with private industry, universities, institutes, local communities, and other Federal laboratories to address a broad range of desalting and water treatment needs. For more information about the DesalR&D program, contact Kevin Price at 303-445-2260, or visit the DesalR&D web site at: http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/water/research/DWPR/. This special edition of Water from Water is prepared to provide you information related to the DesalR&D fiscal year 1999 pre-proposal solicitation package.

PRE-PROPOSAL SOLICITATION PACKAGE

The fiscal year 1999 DesalR&D pre-proposal solicitation package is now available. Requests for the pre-proposal solicitation packages must be made in writing to: Diana Mulligan, Bureau of Reclamation, Acquisition Operations Group, Code D-7810, Den Fed Ctr, PO Box 25007, Denver CO 80225; or by facsimile to 303-445-6345; or by E-mail to dmulligan@do.usbr.gov. Reference the DesalR&D Program Pre-Proposal in all requests. Telephone requests will not be honored. Complete information can be found on Reclamation's Acquisition and Assistance Management Services web site at: http://www.usbr.gov/aamsden/index.html and in the Commerce Business Daily posted 11/3/98. Pre-proposals are due no later than 12/17/98. Reclamation is soliciting proposals in 6 different research areas for projects of 12 months duration or less (follow-on funding may be available for successful projects). The award amount varies according to the area of interest. Offerors (other than academic institutions of higher learning) must be willing to cost-share 50-percent or more of the project cost, depending on the financial need of the project. Cost-sharing may be made through cash or in-kind contributions from the offeror, or third party non-Federal participants. Cost-sharing is not mandatory from academic institutions, but is strongly encouraged. Offerors proposing to provide additional cost-share will be given greater consideration. No profit or fee will be allowed. Patent rights for any developments will be retained by the research partner in accordance with provisions contained in the solicitation. Any responsible source, to include individuals, educational institutions, commercial or industrial organizations, private entities, public entities (including state and local), or Indian Tribal Governments may submit a pre-proposal. Federal agencies are not eligible to apply. Pre-proposals will be reviewed for overall scientific and/or technical merit, potential contributions to the DesalR&D program objectives, qualifications of the proposer, and reasonableness of the estimated costs. Meritorious pre-proposers will be encouraged to submit a full proposal. Submission of a pre-proposal is not mandatory; however, offerors are strongly encouraged to do so. Brief descriptions of each area of interest and their respective funding amounts are listed below. A generic list of examples of the types of research and development opportunities that may be considered is included with the packages. The examples in the packages may not necessarily be given preferential consideration over unspecified research that also meets the goals of the program. Solicitation packages for the full proposals will be issued on or about 2/28/99; with a due date of approximately 45 days after issuance. Due to current funding levels, pre-proposals submitted under Tasks B, C, and F will be combined for evaluation. For fiscal year 1999, Reclamation anticipates the award of a total of 2 or 3 financial assistance agreements within Tasks B, C, and F, with Federal funds of $40,000 to $50,000 awarded for each of the agreements.

TASK A - MEMBRANE PROCESS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES - The primary objective of this task is to reduce the cost and increase the ease of operation of membrane-based desalting and water treatment systems. Projects sponsored under this emphasis area can apply to any portion of a membrane treatment process including pretreatment related to membrane processes. In fiscal year 1999, Reclamation expects to make award of 1 to 2 financial assistance agreements, with Federal funds of $50,000 to $100,000 awarded for each of these agreements. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) Development of membranes with improved properties, (2) Development of membranes with increased resistance to chlorine or other oxidants, (3) Development of ion- or component-specific membranes for reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, or other membrane-based processes, (4) Quality improvements in membrane element manufacture, (5) Research on techniques for membrane storage or preservation and for biological control during plant operation, (6) Studies on adhesion of foulant or other materials to membrane surfaces, (7) Studies on membrane cleaning, including frequency and effectiveness, (8) Development of improved membrane-containing element or stacks, (9) Increase of rates of mass transfer to membrane surfaces, (10) Studies on influence of minor components in groundwater on membrane properties, (11) Studies on pretreatment specifically for membrane processes, (12) Studies on presence and influence of biofilms on membranes, and (13) Development of investigative techniques relating to membranes and membrane processes.

TASK B - THERMAL PROCESS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES - Research and development studies will focus on improvements in thermally driven desalting processes. Thermal processes are generally applied to seawater desalting due to the high energy investment. Projects sponsored under this area can apply to any portion of the thermal desalting process, including pre- and post-treatment for these processes. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) Research and development studies of improvements and/or cost reductions in thermally driven desalting processes including multi-state flash, multiple effect, or vapor compression distillation, (2) Evaluation and development of methods to improve the heat economy of thermally driven desalting processes, (3) Investigation of methods to resolve pre- or post-treatment issues of thermally driven desalting processes, and (4) Investigation of methods to reduce the formation of scale and corrosion in thermally driven desalting processes. Only technologies with the potential of becoming cost competitive with existing membrane and thermal processes will be considered. Proposed projects should have the potential to become commercially viable and have wide applicability.

TASK C - NON-TRADITIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE DESALINATION RESEARCH AND STUDIES - Research and development studies will focus on investigation of non-traditional, or alternative desalination techniques, to include the evaluation of economics and thermodynamic efficiency of these processes. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) Development of new, innovative alternative desalination processes, (2) Investigation of innovative techniques combining desalination processes with renewable energy sources including photovoltaic, wind power, solar thermal, and geothermal, and (3) Investigation of freeze desalination and innovative combined desalination processes. Only technologies with the potential of becoming cost competitive with existing membrane and thermal processes will be considered. Proposed projects should have the potential to become commercially viable and have wide applicability.

TASK D - WATER RECYCLING AND REUSE - Research and development studies will support activities directed at innovative methods to treat municipal, industrial, or agricultural waste water in a cost-effective manner. Projects could also include solving specific problems related to specific reuse facilities, in order to improve the economics or overall operation and maintenance of existing or future facilities. In fiscal year 1999, Reclamation expects to make award of 1 or 2 financial assistance agreements, with Federal funds of up to $50,000 awarded for each of these agreements. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) Investigating innovative methods to recycle and reuse municipal, agricultural, or industrial process water or waste waters, (2) Research studies to remove toxic substances from waste water streams, i.e., pesticides, heavy metals, radioactive elements, etc., (3) Research studies aimed at innovative methods to upgrade existing industrial waste water treatment processes to meet state/federal standards, (4) Development of low-cost treatment methods for high nitrate well waters from farm fertilization or cattle operations, and (5) Developing "leak-proof" recycling treatment technologies.

TASK E - ANCILLARY AND ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENTS - In fiscal year 1999, Reclamation expects to make award of 1 or 2 financial assistance agreements, with Federal funds of up to $40,000 awarded for each of these agreements. This task addresses four aspects of the authorizing legislation for this program that relate to the general economic improvement of desalination processes (1) A method for evaluating the economic implications of technological improvements is of primary importance at this time. Reclamation has models for reverse osmosis and nanofiltration that are sensitive enough for this purpose, but needs models for electrodialysis, ion exchange, and thermal desalting methods. If the costs of desalting are to be decreased through this program it is vital that models for all desalting methods be obtained so that the recent technological improvements made under this program can be compared on an equal basis, (2) Studies optimizing cost and/or design for different operating conditions, (3) Investigation of methods for increasing the economic efficiency of desalination processes, including hybrid systems or dual-purpose co-facilities with other processes involving the use of water, and (4) Detailed surveys of construction and operating costs for desalination facilities with common itemized categories of costs for each plant surveyed normalized to a common basis.

TASK F - CONCENTRATE ISSUES - Research and development studies will evaluate the various problems related to concentrate disposal, and develop innovative techniques to reduce concentrate disposal costs and impacts on the environment. Examples of these projects include but are not limited to (1) Concentrate disposal systems development, (2) Recovery and use of concentrate by-products (dissolved salts), (3) Salinity modeling and toxicity analysis of concentrate discharges to the environment, (4) Substitution of brackish concentrate for potable water in industrial applications, and (5) Removal of supersaturated salts to permit further desalting of concentrate and reduce the volume of concentrate requiring disposal. Only technologies with the potential of becoming cost competitive with existing alternative disposal methods will be considered. Proposed projects should have the potential to become commercially viable and have wide applicability.


CONTACT US

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.