WET Center Overview

The WET Center is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry / University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) led by Temple University with partner sites at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. The Center was established in 2009 and is in its second Phase. There are currently over thirty (30) industrial and government members of the WET Center.

The Center has been developing a platform of water treatment technologies and scientific information systems that apply to a wide variety of industrial sectors such as Defense, Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Products, Food and Beverage, Mining, Municipal Water and Wastewater Utilities, Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment, Unconventional Oil and Gas, Chemical, and Information & Communication Technology Industries.

The WET Center strives to create knowledge and technology products that will be utilized by industry and benefit the public. The Center’s core work deals with water reuse, drinking water and wastewater treatment, water for use in industrial manufacturing, source water protection, stormwater management, environmental studies, risk assessments, sustainability, analytical methods development, and real-time sensors for water quality monitoring and process control.

 

Background

Water is not a renewable resource; in fact, in many areas of the world, water quantities are insufficient to meet community needs. Water quality is also critically important.  The predictable effects of a changing global climate are likely to make the sustainable water quantity-quality balance even more important.  Many communities will need to rely on water sources with impaired quality.  In addition the water-food-energy nexus requires a special attention and management strategies.

The escalating costs of clean water and much higher discharge standards are forcing industries to seek cost-effective advanced methods to treat wastewater for reuse. Industries also seek higher efficiency approaches to produce water of desired quality for use in production operations. With growing concern regarding emerging contaminants (ECs) in the public and scientific communities, and possible regulation in the future (Ireland’s EPA has begun to regulate ECs in industrial wastewater), the need for new solutions and technology is likely to grow tremendously.  According to World Water Council reports, estimates of residential water consumption will likely increase by 100 percent and industrial utilization by 33 percent by 2025. Increasing water stresses brought on by more frequent and prolonged droughts in many areas of the U.S. has triggered the need for water reuse, requiring advanced wastewater treatment. Some areas use treated wastewater for groundwater replenishment, requiring advanced treatment to attain high purity levels. In addition, population growth and tighter regulations or anticipated regulations linked to USEPA CCL, ECs, microplastics and other contaminants will lead to increased demand for wastewater treatment technologies.

 

 

Value Proposition:

WET Center membership provides:

  1. The ability to influence the research direction and agenda of talented faculty and internationally recognized experts at three world-class universities. The members meet biannually to identify R&D needs and select faculty proposed projects for Center funding.
  2. Co-funded collaborative R&D at lower cost. Leveraged R&D, with membership fee recent leveraging factor of 60! for individual company members.
  3. Member companies can obtain a royalty-free license to commercialize any technology developed by the WET Center
  4. Member companies can make use of the Water Technology Innovation Ecosystem (Water-TIE) at Temple University, established by funding from NSF AIR program. This includes pilot test units for various water treatment technologies (absorption, ion exchange, oxidation, ultrasound, bioreactors), on-line sensors and the WET Center state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation lab. This is useful in quickly testing combinations of treatment technologies to be applied to unique water treatment challenges.
  5. Access to University researchers and students.
  6. Highest quality labs & equipment.
  7. Individual/confidential projects possible but funded separately.
  8. Opportunity to be publicly recognized for commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.“The opportunity to sit at the table and network with industry leaders.”“The opportunity to engage world-class researchers and collaborative side projects”
  9. “The big benefit is leverage. My membership fee can be leveraged into research much greater than my investment”
  10. Recent quotes from Center members are: