Thanks to a $12 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), researchers at UC Santa Barbara and partner institutions will be able to continue their research into developing novel membrane-based approaches — and new materials to enable them — aimed at changing how we purify water. The four-year extension grant builds upon the inaugural $10.75 million DOE grant awarded in 2018 as part of the agency's $400 million Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Program, the purpose of which is to establish and sustain forty-three EFRCs across the country. The overarching goal of the EFRCs is to accelerate basic science understanding and discovery in energy-related fields.
The Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems (M-WET) is headquartered in the Cockrell School of Engineering at University of Texas at Austin, and also involves researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Launched with a $10.75 million DOE grant in 2018, the collaborative effort unites experts from three institutions to apply state-of-the-art materials synthesis, characterization, and modeling to address knowledge gaps in fundamental science that have hindered the creation of next-generation polymer membranes to filter chemically contaminated water for re-use.