News & Announcements

New Department of Energy Funding to Utilize Tidal Power for Clean Water

Mustafa Usta joins researchers from SUNY Binghamton and Lehigh University to develop a water-powered desalination system

July 2023 Research NewsletterDr. Mustafa Usta, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded $234,527 under a Department of Energy grant to develop a water desalination system powered by tides. Dr. Usta joins a team led by the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY Binghamtom) and including Lehigh University researchers on the project, titled "Off-grid tidal turbine-driven centrifugal reverse osmosis system." The team will design, fabricate, and test lab-scale components of the proposed Centrifugal Reverse Osmosis (CRO) system.

Reverse Osmosis is a well-established process of purifying water by forcing source water through a membrane to remove contaminants like salt, bacteria, chemicals, etc. CRO generates the pressure to push the water through the membrane by spinning the membrane at high speed. Dr. Usta's lab will focus their efforts on data analysis, computer modeling, and development of a computational framework to assess the hydrodynamics and separation efficiency of the CRO system. Their challenge will be to create a fast, accurate model that can account for the complexities of water flow, motion of the membrane, concentration effects, membrane fouling, and more, and apply it to a wide range of potential operating conditions.