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Thursday, September 29, 2016

University of Kansas and West Virginia University collaborate on Water Restoration Project

Congratulations to University of Kansas Associate Professor, Dr. Edward Peltier
Improving Water Management, Treatment and Recovery
in Oil and Gas Production
and Professor, Dr. Stephen Randtke, of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Department; Dr. Karen Peltier, Assistant Scientist and Director of Labs for the KU Tertiary Oil Recover Program; and to West Virginia University Director of WVU Water Research Institute, Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz,  Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Dr. Lian-Shin for receiving one of the 11 NSF Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Research Infrastructure Improvement Track-2 (RII) investment strategy awards.  These NSF EPSCoR Track - 2 awards totaling $55 million are aimed at building research capacity to address fundamental questions about the brain and develop new innovations at the intersection of food, energy and water systems.

The collaborative team, from the University of Kansas and West Virginia University, was awarded $3,898,637.00 for their project titled, Improving Water Management, Treatment and Recovery in Oil and Gas ProductionThe aim of their research is to "develop cutting-edge strategies for better management, treatment, protection and recovery of produced water."

Denise Barnes, head of NSF EPSCoR said "These awards represent a tremendous value for the scientific community, as they foster research into some of the most pressing issues facing U.S. society while simultaneously supporting collaborative research programs and workforce development."
This award will invest in the STEM workforce by supporting and developing early-career faculty researchers.  In addition, students and junior faculty at both universities will cross train at each other's university to strengthen the collaborative research ties and create a new generation of experts in sustainable oil and gas recovery practices.

The research team's goal is to eventually establish a permanent center dedicated to implementing proven best practices to improve the safety of deep-well injection and the handling of the produced water nationwide as well as "develop economical methods for treating produced water so that it can be reused."

Other KU researchers on the project include Belinda Sturm from Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering; Jyun-Sung Tsau from the Tertiary Oil Recovery Program, and Reza Barati in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering. In addition, the WVU team includes Lance Lin from Civil and Environmental Engineering; Harry Finklea from Chemistry; Joe Donovan from Geology; Todd Petty and Eric Merriam from Wildlife and Fisheries, and Shawn Grushecky from Energy Land Management Program.