Tzahi Cath:
The research group of Dr. Cath focuses on development and testing of physical, chemical, and biological processes, and their combination, for the treatment of wastewater from a broad range of sources. Applications include desalination of brackish and seawater, treatment and reclamation of domestic and industrial wastewater (including for direct potable reuse), and recovery of materials (minerals, nutrients, etc.) and energy from various sources of water. The research in Dr. Cath's labs ranges from bench-scale assessment to pilot-scale, long-term demonstration for techno-economic validation.




  Christopher Higgins:
Understanding the identity and concentrations of chemicals in water impacted by O&G development is  a critical step in not only defining appropriate water treatment technologies (when needed) but also addressing public concerns about contamination of water resources. Though standard water quality parameters (pH, metals, dissolved organic carbon) are often measured for these waters, there is a growing need for advanced characterization techniques (i.e., high resolution mass spectrometry) to not only enable evaluation of treatment technologies, but also address concerns that additional chemicals used in processes such as hydraulic fracturing may contaminate drinking water supplies.  Borrowing from both gas chromatography and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (MS) techniques developed for wastewater characterization, an RET participant will develop and evaluate quantitative characterization methods for analyzing chemical contaminants in potentially impaired oil and gas waters. Particular focus will be given to high resolution MS techniques such as quadrupole time-of-flight MS, as this approach has particular promise in identifying unknown contaminants and/or their transformation products.




  Terri Hogue:
Dr. Hogue has extensive experience working on fires in both California and Colorado and has collaborated with numerous agencies (USGS, USFS, NWS and SCCWRP) on a range of wild fire issues. Post-fire investigations have included geochemical behavior and source water contribution, mercury-soil response, vegetation and hydrologic response and recovery, and post-fire modeling and parameter identification. Current work on fires includes working with local stakeholders on investigations of water quality, sediment transport and trout resilience in the headwaters of the Rio Grande in southern Colorado.




  Timothy Strathman:
Professor Strathmann’s research group specializes in environmental chemistry, applying modern chemical research tools to study (1) the conversion of waste materials to energy, nutrients, and clean water, and (2) the development of innovative technologies for purifying drinking water, with an emphasis on removal of contaminants of emerging concern like hormones, antbiotics, and other pharmaceutically active chemicals. The group also collaborates with researchers at the nearby National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to advance technologies for producing low cost and sustainable biofuels and biorenewable chemicals from algae.

  Kathleen Smits:
The motivation of Smits’ research group is to provide answers to questions of importance to many current and emerging problems such as the management of water resources in dry land, the transport of pollutants through unsaturated soils, understanding the environment in which landmines and unexploded ordinances are placed, and increasing the efficiency of soil borehole thermal energy storage systems. The basic aim of Smits’ research is to combine theoretical, numerical and experimental approaches to address hydrological processes occurring near the earth's surface. Her group’s main focus is performing detailed and highly controlled experiments at various scales that they then use to develop and test theories and numerical multiphase models of flow and transport alike.  Please visit her research website for more detailed information at: http://inside.mines.edu/~ksmits/index.html



  Josh Sharp:
With a foundation in environmental engineering microbiology, our laboratory group combines molecular / microbial tools with geochemistry and hydrology to understand environmental systems and their relationship to water resources.  One project focuses on the role of a constructed wetland environment as a component of treating produced and flowback waters. Photoactive microbial mats have potential for passive, onsite treatment of produced water in a cost effective manner though likely as a component of a larger water treatment train.  Just as importantly, the incorporation of constructed wetland environments as a visible element of a water treatment and reuse process, particularly at urban interfaces, may increase public value associated with these extractive efforts through enhanced aesthetics, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and long-term residential or commercial development opportunities.



                     Junko Munakata Marr & Linda Figueroa:

The teacher will study anaerobic treatment of domestic wastewater in a pilot-scale system, to work toward the broader goal of energy-positive, simple yet effective wastewater treatment.  The teacher will learn basic principles of reactor design and operation, and will get hands-on experience analyzing both water quality and biogas.  The teacher will also have the opportunity to get involved in molecular biology analyses as well as life cycle assessment.




  Alexis Sitchler:
Quantifying rates of mineral reactions allow for prediction of geochemical processes and understanding of many Earth surface and energy systems.  Water movement through rocks can control the rates that minerals weather under certain conditions. The participant will set up and sample their own mineral dissolution columns to define conditions where heterogeneity and fluid mixing exert control on mineral reaction rates.

  Chris Bellona:
The goal of the RET participant’s project will be to evaluate the effectiveness of coagulant chemicals on ceramic membrane performance during the treatment of oil and gas produced water. Oil and gas produced water treatment is becoming an increasingly important component of resource production and this project will provide an introduction to convention water treatment (i.e., coagulation) and advanced water treatment (i.e., membrane technologies).


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Last Updated: 03/16/2018 14:41:45