Batch reverse osmosis is a unique process that uses standard equipment to recover water from scaling-prone reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate. Batch RO avoids scaling by operating in cycles that are too short for scalants to nucleate. Batch RO can efficiently reduce inland desalination plants’ concentrate disposal costs while recovering potable water. We have demonstrated batch RO at the pilot scale as part of the US Bureau of Reclamation’s More Water Less Concentrate Challenge. The pilot system demonstrated more than 80% water recovery from RO brine for less than 2.5 kWh/m3. By leveraging batch RO’s cyclical operation and demonstrating its efficacy with the Yuma Desalting Plant’s challenging RO brine, we hope to expand the capabilities of RO for low-energy, high-recovery desalination.
Given the detrimental environmental impacts from the fast fashion clothing industry, this research project delves into the recycling of textiles for thermal insulation and energy conservation. The present work includes analyzing recycled fabric samples with varying methods of construction in order to maximize the volume of air—since air resists heat conduction—while keeping the air pockets small enough to minimize thermal radiation and convection. Thermal modeling using resistance networks was done to validate the measurement method and increase the accuracy and replicability of thermal conductivity measurements. Multiple quilt samples were sewn and measured with a thermal conductivity apparatus, with the goal to reduce thermal conductivity as much as possible. Quilt samples varied by the density of top-stitching, where indentations caused by stitching could create air pockets. Preliminary findings show that quilt samples with higher stitch density have a lower thermal conductivity than samples with a lower stitch density.