Manufacturing relies heavily on water resources to operate machinery, as a component in some products, and as a part of the manufacturing process. Finding ways to reduce water usage or reuse grey water can have a large impact on the bottom line, stability and energy efficiency.
Advanced manufacturing techniques can enable the manufacturing of products that can aid in the security and use of water. These novel technologies include: nano-membrane for filters and separation, sensors to detect harmful agents in drinking water, and technologies for desalination and purification.
Argonne has a variety of water projects spread across divisions. These include work on resilience, computer simulations of water flows, use of edge computing and sensors to monitor water in urban and rural areas, and and monitoring water quality and design better filtration membranes.
Argonne is a member of several partnerships focused on water research, including the Current Research Consortium, which is working on a pilot program with the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. Argonne also has a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Chicago, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to collaborate to tackle water scarcity issues.
Argonne is well positioned to tackle water challenges due to its location in the manufacturing heartland and near the Great Lakes and the strategic water-related research underway across the laboratory.
Argonne has several resources that make it well suited to claim a leadership position in manufacturing-related water R&D including:
- Expertise in nanotechnologies for filtration and impurity detection
- The Waggle platform for wireless environmental sensing
- A growing machine learning program for developing real-time, adjustable water treatment systems
- The national lab system’s only scale up facility to accelerate the development of new water technologies and processes
- The Materials Science division for developing new materials and the Advanced Photon Source for characterizing them