Innovative Nanomaterials and Membranes for Enhanced Water Reuse and Desalination

Dr. Pei Xu
Associate Professor, New Mexico State University
Water scarcity and the need to meet the increasing water demand have motivated many municipalities and water utilities to explore alternative water supplies. Desalination technologies such as reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) have been increasingly used to produce fresh water from seawater, brackish water, and reclaimed water. Despite advances in membrane technologies, membrane fouling and intensive energy demand continue to be the key impediments for successful application of membrane processes. In addition, concentrate management and disposal, especially for inland applications, is currently one of the most challenging issues associated with water reuse and desalination.
This presentation will highlight a number of innovative technologies such as photocatalysis, selective membranes, and antifouling membranes coated with nanoparticles for improving process efficiency, reducing carbon footprint, and generating water with quality tailored for various uses. This talk will discuss the recent advances in membranes and nanomaterials for water reuse and desalination.
Dr. Pei Xu is an Associate Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at New Mexico State University. She teaches courses in Introduction to Environmental Engineering, Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes, Biological Treatment Processes, Water-Energy-Environmental Systems, and Advanced Water Treatment and Reuse. Her research focuses on water reuse and desalination, especially photocatalysis, membrane processes, concentrate treatment, and produced water reuse. She is the project lead and co-lead of the Engineering Thrust of National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center ReNUWIt, and recently selected as the AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellow on food and water security. She graduated from l’École nationale du génie rural, des eaux et des forêts (ENGREF) in 2002 with a PhD, and worked as a researcher at l’Université de Montpellier II from 1999 to 2002.

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