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Colloquium in Freshwater Sciences
December 11, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The last colloquium speaker next week Wednesday (Dec 11th) will be Dr. Marcia Silva, Associate Scientist and Director – UWM Water Technology Accelerator (WaTA). The title of her presentation: “Developing water technologies from laboratory scale to pilot production – challenges and opportunities in a globally connected Milwaukee Water Hub“
The Silva lab has the mission of developing water technologies. The lab has two major focuses of research (filtration materials and sensors). Development of technologies in The Silva Lab follows the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) method developed at NASA and adapted by IUCRC/WEP Center. Currently, the lab has multiple developments under way, most of them fall under TRL 3-5, but there are also some developments at early stage TRL1-2. In a globally connected Milwaukee Water Hub, water technology inventors and entrepreneurs have multiple options to advance their technologies and take them closer to commercialization. The Silva Lab has developed a filtration material that specifically targets phosphorus from water. This technology is in TRL 7 and was licensed to a company in Summer 2019. This adsorbent can be regenerated, and the nutrient can be recovered. This technology is currently being produced at pilot scale and has been deployed at a farm in Wisconsin for over five weeks. In order to evaluate the performance of our engineered natural porous material’s ability to remove phosphorus from the collected runoff, the quality of treated and untreated runoff was examined prior to discharging it to local waterways. Preliminary results revealed that the efficiency removal reached a peak of 40% for soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and 97% for total phosphorus (TP), while assisting with removal of ammonia (reaching a peak of 60% for ammonia). Although the results are encouraging, design parameters can be improved to maximize the performance, stability and consistency of the filters when deployed on a farm.