Apr 05, 2019

Colorado School Creates Water Treatment Technology Hub

A new program at the Colorado School of Mines hopes to bridge the gap between research and commercialization

A new program at the Colorado School of Mines hopes to bridge the gap between research and commercialization
A new program at the Colorado School of Mines hopes to bridge the gap between research and commercialization.

The Colorado School of Mines celebrated the opening of a research facility in Denver.

According to Patch, the facility will aid in collaboration with industry, government and academia to tackle a large challenge facing society – the access to clean water.

According to Patch, the WE2ST (Water-Energy Education, Science and Technology) Water Technology Hub will help in research "focused on developing innovative treatment technologies for produced water from oil, gas and mineral production, groundwater contaminated with emerging contaminants (including toxic poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances), saline and hypersaline streams, municipal water, wastewater and more — leading to sustainable water reuse."

"Colorado School of Mines was founded almost 150 years ago to help industry grow and thrive and since those early years, solving water and wastewater treatment challenges have been a key part of its research mission," said Stefanie Tompkins, vice president of research and technology transfer, according to Patch. "As we approach our next 150 years, we want to continue to be a go-to place for the use-inspired research and innovation needed for society's big challenges. This new facility is an important step in that direction, allowing our amazing researchers – in partnership with other research institutions, industry and government – to bridge the gap between lab-scale and commercial-scale water treatment technologies."

According to Patch, the hub includes analytical and wet labs for water analysis, a fabrication facility and a research bay which holds a capacity for 30,000 gal of water and rail line access for transferring water samples from anywhere in the U.S.

The hub was previously operated by NGL Energy Partners, who donated the whole of the facility's equipment to Mines, according to Patch.

"For over a decade, NGL Energy Partners has been treating oilfield waste water, creating clean water for use in irrigation, municipal and industrial applications, and, in addition, returning substantial amounts of clean water to the surface for beneficial use," CEO H. Michael Krimbill said. "We are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to an ongoing collaboration with Colorado School of Mines through serving as a partner to assist in efforts to pilot and commercialize innovations that flow from the WE2ST Water Technology Hub."

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