American Water to Find Methods of Optimizing RO

American Water Works Company, Inc. has been awarded a grant by the Water Research Foundation to research new methodologies for optimizing pretreatment processes for reverse osmosis desalination.

The project is valued at $490,000, and portions of the research will be conducted in conjunction with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization – Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE) in the Netherlands.

“This research project will use novel methods to measure organic carbon in seawater that can cause plugging of the reverse osmosis membranes,” said Orren Schneider, Ph.D., senior environmental engineer for American Water and principle investigator for this project. “The study will also use advanced techniques to measure the surface charge of particles in seawater. Neutralization of this surface charge is important for particle and organic carbon removal in the pretreatment process.”

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada.

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