Carnegie Mellon University
April 18, 2013

VanBriesen and Dzombak Awarded PITA Grant

VanBriesen and Dzombak Awarded PITA Grant

CEE Professors Jeanne VanBriesen and David Dzombak have recently been awarded research funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) for their project: Evaluation of Membrane Fouling Potential of Dissolved Organic Matter using Parallel Factor Analysis of Fluorescence Spectroscopy (PARAFAC).

The team will evaluate a recently developed organic carbon characterization method, Parallel Factor Analysis of Fluorescence Spectroscopy, as a way to better predict membrane fouling potential in wastewaters. Membrane fouling is a major cause of operational downtime and increased costs and energy use at water, wastewater and produced water treatment facilities. Advance warning of fouling is critical for improved operation of membrane treatment systems but can be difficult to predict due to the complexity of the organic material in the water as well as the operational conditions.

VanBriesen and Dzombak will be collaborating with Meagan Mauter (ChemE), Aquatech, a Pennsylvania company led by CMU Alumnus Venkee Sharma (CE ’87), and CEE graduate student Lauren Strahs.