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Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems

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Center for Advanced Materials for Water Purification  (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water With Systems (WaterCAMPWS) was established to develop revolutionary new materials and systems for safely and economically purifying water for human use, while simultaneously developing the diverse human resources needed to exploit the research advances and the knowledge base created. The primary objectives of the center, which is led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, are desalination/reuse, decontamination, and disinfection.

A team of researchers at WaterCAMPWS has developed a promising new photocatalyst called TiON. There have been several versions of the material and the latest has achieved tremendous increases in disinfection rates, plus it works in visible light instead of the ultraviolet range that is necessary for today’s technologies for water decontamination. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is currently testing TiON using real wastewater in a laboratory setting.

Education & Outreach

WaterCAMPWS offers extensive outreach to the public through museum exhibits and open houses and to students from high school up to the graduate level through courses, seminars, camps, research experiences, and professional development. At the Water Technology and Education Camp (WaterTech), high school students meet researchers, do lab and field work, live in dorms, and have fun while learning about the vital roles that science, technology, and engineering play in water quality, safety and conservation.

High school teachers partner with the center via the WaterCAMPWS Collaboration for Learning Education and Research (WaterCLEAR) program, a year-long collaborative project. Participating teachers integrate and implement water purification curriculum modules aligned to Illinois Science Standards and customized to their own learning objectives. WaterCLEAR provides teachers with an opportunity to stay at the cutting edge of scientific innovation while at the same time refining their classroom teaching strategies.

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  • rushing water
A marine thrombolite, an ancient microbial community, has lived in the shallow waters of the Bahamas for thousands of years. Thrombolite samples were collected as part of a biocomplexity project that studied the composition and diversity of bacteriophage communities in solar salterns by high throughput DNA sequencing.
Dr. Forest Rohwer, Biology Department, San Diego State University