Evaporation ponds, commonly used in many industries to manage wastewater, can occupy a large footprint and often pose risks to birds and other wildlife, yet they’re an economical way to deal with contaminated water. Now researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated a way to double the rate of evaporation by using solar energy and taking advantage of water’s inherent properties, potentially reducing their environmental impact.
The National Alliance for Water Innovation, which is led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been awarded a five-year, $100-million Energy-Water Desalination Hub by DOE to address water security issues in the United States.
Every year, hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells generates billions of gallons of contaminated water. Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the CO School of Mines believe microbes could be the key to turning this waste into a resource.