Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019AZ003B

Solar nanofiltation for off-grid water purification in Navajo Nation

Institute: Arizona
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-05-31 End Date: 2020-05-30
Total Federal Funds: $4,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $20,019

Principal Investigators: Dr. Kerri Hickenbottom

Abstract: Proposed work is motivated by the inability to extend central infrastructure to low- populationdensity areas of the Navajo Nation and elsewhere. The project is in effect a “miniaturization†of solarnanofiltration (NF) systems for off-grid water purification at household points of use. Bench-scale tests will be carried out to evaluate membrane performances as functions of (i) raw water conditions such as osmotic pressure, pH, and contaminant (uranium and arsenic) concentrations and (ii) nanofiltration parameters including membrane “tightness†and applied or feed pressure. Results will support rational design leading to optimization of NF systems consisting of solar panels, high-pressure pump, NF membrane, battery and control unit subject to purification of sufficient potable water to serve individual household demands. Additional project elements will establish the feasibilities of (i) electroadsorption for uranium sequestration and minimization of waste volume for disposal and (ii) electrocoagulation for separation of arsenic from brines prior to disposal or reuse.