A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Friday, August 27, 2010

NSF Funds Greywater Research

Many of my colleagues at Oregon State University think my hobby on greywater reuse research is a huge waste of time. Boy, did it feel good to see this article about a USD $2M grant to the University of California, Berkeley for "Solar Optics-based Active Pasteurization (SOAP) for Greywater Reuse and Integrated Thermal (GRIT) Building Control" Just the acronyms for their research should be worthy of the award. But this press release from UC Berkeley tells the interesting story behind this innovative research supporting NSF's Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation’s 2010 Science in Energy and Environmental Design (EFRI-SEED) program for engineering sustainable buildings.

"For the first time in the NSF's history, the inclusion of an architect was required in each request-for-proposal for this grant(strong hint to the Oregon Sustainability Center research team).

"Together, the researchers are testing a new water-recycling system for a building system, designed for application in multi-story apartments. The recycling system couples the solar disinfection of grey water from kitchen sinks, showers, or laundries with thermal storage for energy management and light transmission control". 

"The real breakthrough within the collaboration, the researchers said, is their plan for a system of micro-optic lenses on exterior building walls that links the grey water disinfection process to radiant floor heating via a lightweight, thin membrane. The biologically-inspired compound solar lenses, or "eyes," have self-regulating fields of view for enhanced light absorption of up to about 150 degrees, and the lenses are contained inside a thin film that is applied to the walls".

And that is not all. The researchers show the geography of this technology. The real winners - arid climates.

Wow! Just the idea is worthy of mention for the Rainbow Water Coalition Greywater Gadget of the Week.

Congratulations to the principal investigators! This is an important award, not only for the planet, but also for me as I try to promote greywater research and kitchen-sink wastewater reuse in Oregon.


1 comment:

  1. Just came across this a moment ago, and it seemed relevant to your interests: a urinal/sink combo, where the sink greywater serves to flush the urinal. If I understand your definitions, this means the greywater becomes blackwater, but at least it does double duty in the process.