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The Desalination and Water Purification Research & Development Program Newsletter - SPECIAL EDITION - 2002

PROGRAM STATUS

The Desalination & Water Purification Research & Development (DWPR) Program first received funding in October 1997, and its authorization expired in September 2002. At the time of this release, Congress had not yet finalized its fiscal year (FY) 2003 budget; however, both appropriation and authorization measures are moving forward. In the meantime, we continue our technology transfer efforts through this newsletter. For more information, contact program manager, Tom Jennings, 303-445-2130, or visit our website at http://www.usbr.gov/pmts/water/research/DWPR/.

This edition of Water from Water provides information on the DWPR FY03 pre-proposal solicitation packages.

PRE-PROPOSALS

The FY03 DWPR pre-proposal solicitation packages were posted in the Federal Business Opportunities on 11/01/02. The pre-proposal packages may be obtained from our website at www.usbr.gov/mso/aamd/. Reference (1) task areas A, B, C, E, & F for research and studies, (2) task G for testing of pilot-scale systems, or (3) task I for design, construction, and testing of plants and modules. Parties without Internet access can request the pre-proposal packages in writing by facsimile to (303) 445-6345 or by e-mail to rjackson@do.usbr.gov. Telephone requests will not be honored. Pre-proposals must be submitted in accordance with the instructions and must not exceed six pages. Pre-proposals are due on 01/15/03.

The overall DWPR objective is to reduce the cost of desalting and water purification technologies in order to augment U.S. water supplies. For FY03 and continent upon Congressional funding, Reclamation is soliciting the following pre-proposals: Task areas A, B, C, E, & F for research and studies projects of 12 months duration or less with Federal cost sharing of $75,000-$100,000 per award; Task G for testing of pilot-scale system investigations of 24 months duration or less with Federal cost-sharing of $270,000 per award ($150,000 the first year and $120,000 the optional second year); and Task I for design, construction, and testing of plants and modules for projects of 36 months duration or less with Federal cost sharing of $1,000,000.

Offerors (other than academic institutions) must cost-share 50% or more of the project cost. Offerors proposing to provide additional cost-share will be given greater consideration. 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. No profit or fee will be allowed. Patent rights for any developments will be retained by the researcher. Any responsible source, including individuals, academic institutions, commercial or industrial organizations, private entities, public entities (including state and local), or Indian Tribal Governments, may submit a pre-proposal. Foreign entities, other than U.S.-Mexico bi-national research foundations and inter-university research programs, are not eligible for funding. Federal agencies are not eligible. Pre-proposals will be reviewed for scientific and/or technical merit, potential contributions to the DWPR program objectives, qualifications of the proposer, and reasonableness of the estimated project costs. Meritorious pre-proposers will be encouraged to submit a full proposal. Submission of a pre-proposal is not mandatory; however, is strongly encouraged in order to receive the benefit of the pre-proposal screening process. Solicitation packages for the full proposals will be issued about 02/13/03, with a due date of approximately 45 days after issuance. Brief descriptions of each area of interest and a generic list of the types of projects that may be considered are provided below. These examples will not necessarily be given preferential consideration over unspecified research that also meets the goals of the program.

RESEARCH AND STUDIES -
The number of financial assistance agreements to be awarded varies by area. Each agreement will be for 12 months duration or less, with Federal funds of $75,000-$100,000 per agreement. Reclamation's research and studies priority areas for FY03 are concentrate disposal issues, membrane processes, non-traditional or alternative desalination processes, and integrated membrane systems.

TASK A - MEMBRANE PROCESS RESEARCH AND STUDIES.
Reclamation anticipates the award of 4-5 financial assistance agreements. The 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 task area can apply to any portion of a membrane treatment process including pretreatment related to membrane processes. Examples of these projects include, but are not limited to,

  1. development of integrated membrane systems,
  2. research on techniques for membrane storage or preservation and for biological control during plant operation,
  3. studies on adhesion of foulant or other materials to membrane surfaces,
  4. studies on membrane cleaning, including frequency and effectiveness,
  5. development of improved membrane-containing elements or stacks,
  6. increase in rates of mass transfer to membrane surfaces,
  7. studies on influence of minor components in groundwater on membrane properties,
  8. studies on pretreatment specifically for membrane processes,
  9. studies on presence and influence of biofilms on membranes, and
  10. development of investigative techniques relating to membrane processes.

TASK B - THERMAL PROCESS RESEARCH AND STUDIES.
Reclamation anticipates the award of 1-2 financial assistance agreements. Projects under this task focus on improvements in thermally driven desalting processes. Thermal processes are generally applied to seawater desalting due to the high energy investment. Projects can apply to any portion of the thermal desalting process, including pre- and post-treatment. 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.
Reclamation anticipates the award of 2-3 financial assistance agreements. Projects under his task focus on investigation of non-traditional or alternative desalination or water purification 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 E - ANCILLARY AND ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENTS.
Reclamation anticipates the award of 2-3 financial assistance agreements. This task area 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 the 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. (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.
Reclamation anticipates the award of 4-5 financial assistance agreements. 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. recovery and use of irrigation return flows,
  2. development of high salt complex mixtures,
  3. creating products that use salts,
  4. concentrate disposal systems development,
  5. recovery and use of concentrate by products (dissolved salts),
  6. salinity modeling and toxicity analysis of concentrate discharges to the environment,
  7. substitution of brackish concentrate for potable water in industrial applications, and
  8. removal of supersaturated salts to permit further desalting of concentrate thus reducing 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.

PILOT-SCALE SYSTEMS -
Reclamation anticipates the award of 1-2 financial assistance agreements of 24 months duration or less. Federal funds up to $150,000 will be awarded the first year for pilot-plant design, construction, and installation. Subject to the content and quality of proposals received, up to $120,000 for an optional second year for testing, modification, and evaluation will be awarded without further competition.

TASK G - TESTING OF PILOT-SCALE SYSTEMS.
The objective of this task is twofold (1) to cost-share the design, fabrication, and testing of pilot-scale systems, processes, and concepts, and (2) to cost-share the design, construction, and testing of pilot-scale systems. Awards under this task typically result from successful research and studies from one of the other emphasis areas in the program that demonstrates a high level of success and a need for further technology development. However, any researcher may submit a pre-proposal who can provide sufficient documentation indicating that a high level of prior successful research has been accomplished and that the project is at the design, build, and testing pilot-plant stage.

DEMONSTRATION -
Reclamation anticipates the award of 1 demonstration financial assistance agreement of 36 months duration or less with Federal funds of about $1,000,000 for the 3 year agreement, subject to the content and quality of proposals received.

TASK I - DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION, & TESTING PLANTS & MODULES.
The objective of this task is to cost share the design, construction, and testing of demonstration-scale systems and processes. Awards can result from successful pilot-scale investigations completed under the program that demonstrated a high level of success and proved the technology is ready for design, construction, & testing. However, any researcher may submit a pre-proposal who can provide sufficient documentation indicating a high level of prior successful pilot-scale investigations have been accomplished and that the project is at design, construction, & testing demonstration phase.


CONTACT US

Water from Water is published by Reclamation's Water Treatment Engineering and Research Group - Susan Martella, Editor. For more information about the DWPR 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.