A huge number of the challenges we face surrounding water center on the interface between water and the materials that make up the systems that handle, process and treat water.
Gaining a deeper understanding of what takes place when water — and matter dissolved or suspended in water — comes into contact with those solids is the focus of the Argonne-led Advanced Materials for Energy-Water Systems (AMEWS) Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. For example, in many water systems, a phenomenon known as fouling — the accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces to the detriment of function — occurs at interfaces.
Other areas AMEWS is exploring are capture and controlled release of trace species, selective electrocatalysis of complex aqueous mixtures, and transport through porous materials.
The work being done by AMEWS falls within the larger portfolio of water research being conducted by Argonne and its partners: