Water Tech Spotlight: the latest technology developments in the water industry | May 2022
Tech solutions and innovations are the mainstays towards a water-wise world. Water Tech Spotlight is a monthly blog that aims to highlight worldwide the latest technology developments in the water industry. Scroll down to find out more.
1. GROUNDBREAKING GRAPHENE MEMBRANE AT COMMERCIAL SCALE
Roll of NematiQ Graphene Membrane. Image courtesy of NematiQ
The global market for membrane-based water filtration is growing substantially. NematiQ, a subsidiary of Clean TeQ Water, has been developing graphene-based nanofiltration membranes for commercial manufacturing, and has now achieved a major milestone by producing over 1,000m of 1,000mm-wide flat sheet Graphene Membrane on an industrial roll-to-roll coating machine. This energy efficient nanofiltration membrane has been tested and is able to remove contaminants such as dissolved organics for a range of feed waters.
2. IDENTIFYING TOXIC MATERIALS IN WATER WITH MACHINE LEARNING
Cover image: UBCO researchers using fluorescence spectroscopy to quickly detect key toxins in tailings ponds water. Image courtesy of UBCO
Recently, researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBCO) have uncovered a new, fast, low-cost and reliable method to quickly identify toxins from oil sands and tailings ponds. The research is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. The results from the initial sample analysis from fluorescence spectroscopy are processed through an image modelling programme that accurately predicts the composition of the water. A convolutional neural network is used to process data in a grid-like topology, such as an image. Read more…
3. PEN-LIKE SENSOR QUICKLY DETECTS BISPHENOL-A IN WATER
Prototype of the portable device made from graphite, silver particles and polyurethane that detects BPA. Image courtesy of Marina Baccarin/USP
A new design of an electrochemical sensor in a pen-like shape has been developed by researchers from the University of São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP) and São Carlos Chemistry Institute (IQSC-USP) in Brazil. Made of graphite, silver nanoparticles and polyurethane, the sensor can analyse chemical pollutants in water, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), an emerging chemical pollutant posing risks to the environment and human health. Thanks to its portability and smart-phone connection features, the device can deliver rapid results without requiring sample collection. An article describing the research is published in Materials Science and Engineering. Read more…
4. 3D TECHNOLOGY IGNITES GREATER BUSHFIRE RESILIENCE
To fortify its bushfire resilience at critical water and wastewater infrastructure sites, SA Water is now leveraging advanced 3D modelling technology based on the detailed photogrammetry captured by drones. This will lead to the development of an Australian-first water industry technical standard. By creating virtual 3D models of the infrastructure, the operators can analyse the assets and identify risks remotely, making it possible to properly schedule the upgrading of specific infrastructure features. Read more…
5. HARD TO MAKE DECISIONS? APP HELPS
A new tool named ValueDecisions has been developed by researchers from Eawag to deal with decision analysis. The original publication can be found in Environmental Modelling & Software. Based on multi-attribute value theory (MAVT), this open source application provides advanced analysis and visualization with no complex programming expected from users. The app can provide advanced cost-benefit and objective-based analyses. The app calculates and visualises the results of the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) in clear graphical representations and tables and is particularly useful to reach complex decisions involving multiple stakeholders with conflicting interests. The app has already proven itself in research practice for wastewater treatment in Paris and for flood warning West Africa. Read more…
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