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The National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) hub, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), recently announced its intent to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for innovations in intensified brine management solutions for high salinity streams. The RFP supports the Water Security Grand Challenge (WSGC), a White House-initiated, DOE-led framework to advance transformational technology and innovation to meet the global need for safe, secure, and affordable water using a coordinated suite of prizes, competitions, R&D, and other programs.

“I’m excited about our efforts to accelerate innovation in advanced water treatment technologies, which will strengthen America’s water security,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. “These efforts will help sustain American leadership in energy and water innovation.”

Water is a critical resource for human health, economic growth, and agricultural productivity. The United States has historically benefitted from access to low-cost water supplies, but changes to freshwater supplies could threaten American economic competitiveness and water security. To address this challenge, NAWI is focused on developing energy-efficient and cost-competitive desalination technologies from non-traditional sources.

The potential RFP contains detailed information about NAWI’s current assessment of early-stage applied research needs for brine management. It will focus on five areas: the thermodynamics and kinetics of inorganic scaling; heat and mass transfer optimization; process and material innovations; low-cost, small-volume salt crystallizers; and techno-economic analysis of novel brine waste valorization.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to consider cost share partnerships. NAWI plans to award 4-12 projects to teams of researchers from industry, academia and DOE’s national laboratories, with a minimum 25% cost share required from each team. NAWI plans to issue the RFP in August 2020.

NAWI is currently developing five R&D “roadmaps” (Power, Resource Extraction, Industrial, Municipal and Agriculture) for nine source waters (industrial, municipal, brackish groundwater, conventional produced water, unconventional produced water, agriculture, mining, power and seawater) to inform future RFPs.

View the Notice of Intent.

Learn more about NAWI, its roadmapping process, and how to get involved at www.nawihub.org.

EERE's Advanced Manufacturing Office supports early-stage research to advance innovation in U.S. manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security.