The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $100m to establish energy-water desalination hub (Hub) to address water security issues in the country.
US DOE stated that this hub will focus on early-stage research and development (R&D) for energy-efficient and low cost desalination technologies.
As per the department, energy and water systems are interconnected, as energy is needed to extract, treat and deliver water. On the other hand, water is used across multiple phases in energy production and electricity generation, from irrigating crops for biofuels to providing cooling water for thermoelectric power plants.
Purification of water for all these purposes can be an energy intensive task and will become more difficult as the saline levels increase.
This new hub will focus on R&D in desalination to provide low-cost alternatives for treating ‘non-traditional’ water sources including seawater and brackish water to be used in in municipal and industrial water supplies or to serve other water resource needs.
US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said: “Technological achievements generated through the Hub will help us achieve several strategic goals established through the Water Security Grand Challenge announced earlier this year.
“By focusing R&D efforts on advancing transformational technologies that promote cost-effective desalination, we are working towards meeting the national and global need for secure, affordable water.”
The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will lead this newly created hub. DOE will provide funding for one new five year award.
The Hub team will work to achieve goals across four technical topic areas including materials research and development, new processes research and development, modeling and simulation tools and integrated data and analysis.
Establishing this Hub is part of the US DOE’s initiative, the Water Security Grand Challenge, announced in late October this year. The goal was to lead a framework for the advancement of transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water.
The initiative will use a suite of prizes, competitions, early-stage research and development funding opportunities, critical partnerships, and other programs.