Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment: A Vision to Enable Decentralized Water Treatment and Address Growing Challenges of the Water Energy Nexus
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Through control over material size, morphology and chemical structure, nanotechnology offers novel materials that are nearly “all surface” and that can be more reactive per atom than bulk materials. Such engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) can offer superior catalytic, adsorptive, optical, quantum, electrical and/or antimicrobial properties that enable multi-functional technology platforms for next- generation water treatment. This presentation will address emerging opportunities for nanotechnology to improve the selectivity and efficiency to remove priority pollutants, decrease electrical energy requirements, and meet a growing need for safer and more affordable decentralized water treatment and reuse. Because water is by far the largest waste stream of the energy industry, we will also discuss technological innovation to enable produced water reuse in remote (off-grid) oil and gas fields, to minimize freshwater withdrawal and disposal challenges.