Can we save lives with thermodynamics? Nanoengineering and Thermofluids for the Water-Food-Energy Nexus

By David M. Warsinger

Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Published on

Abstract

Climate change, degrading water resources, and economic and population growth are increasing the need for new science and technologies at the Water-Energy-Food Nexus. In enabling new and improved technologies to tackle these issues, new nanomaterials designed with systems-level thermodynamics is essential to improve efficiency, allow for new power sources, and enable applications to agriculture. Following this approach, thermodynamic design of water treatment membrane technologies such as reverse osmosis (RO) and membrane distillation (MD) leads to innovations with superhydrophobic nanostructured surfaces for enhanced heat transfer, time-varying “batch” cycles, new system configurations, and optimal use of waste heat can more than double system efficiencies. Furthermore, optimization of heat and mass transfer and chemical thermodynamics in these technologies allows for nanofabricated membranes with superior flux and fouling resistance, including graphene oxide multilayer membranes. These approaches not only yield significant improvements in water treatment and associated energy use, but also in providing water and energy needs for food applications, such as pumping energy for agricultural ground water, or using phase-change thermal storage to enable refrigeration of food despite intermittent power in the developing world.

Bio

David Warsinger Dr. David Warsinger completed his B.S. and M.Eng at Cornell, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT: he completed his graduate studies in a combined 3 years. David’s research focuses on the water-energy nexus, with approaches from thermofluids and nanoengineering. Currently, David is a Postdoc at MIT and beginning a joint Postdoc at Harvard. Prior to starting his PhD, David worked at the engineering consulting firm Arup, where he performed energy and sustainability analysis and designed heating and cooling systems. David is a coauthor of 22 published and 6 submitted journal and conference papers, and a co-inventor of 13 filed or awarded patents. He is also involved with entrepreneurial endeavors, including demonstrating batch reverse osmosis with MIT startup Sandymount, and cofounding Coolify, a startup providing refrigeration via phase-change thermal storage for farmers in developing economies. Notable awards David has earned include the national dissertation award from UCOWR, the highest GPA award for his Masters, 9 presenter awards, and the MIT institute award for best research mentor for undergraduate students.

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Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • David M. Warsinger (2017), "Can we save lives with thermodynamics? Nanoengineering and Thermofluids for the Water-Food-Energy Nexus," https://nanohub.org/resources/26190.

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Time

Location

Room 1001, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Tags

Can we save lives with thermodynamics? Nanoengineering and Thermofluids for the Water-Food-Energy Nexus
  • Can we save lives with thermodynamics? Nanoengineering and Thermofluids for the Water-Food-Energy Nexus 1. Can we save lives with thermod… 0
    00:00/00:00
  • Global Preventable Causes of Death1-3 2. Global Preventable Causes of D… 28.128128128128129
    00:00/00:00
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus 3. Water-Energy-Food Nexus 78.878878878878879
    00:00/00:00
  • Options to Provide Water 4. Options to Provide Water 147.11378044711378
    00:00/00:00
  • Growing Water Focus 5. Growing Water Focus 191.19119119119119
    00:00/00:00
  • Thermo-nano scientific techniques for water 6. Thermo-nano scientific techniq… 285.71905238571907
    00:00/00:00
  • My Research 7. My Research 316.24958291624961
    00:00/00:00
  • Energy in: 8. Energy in: 351.51818485151819
    00:00/00:00
  • Desalination Systems Level 9. Desalination Systems Level 365.49883216549887
    00:00/00:00
  • Definitions 10. Definitions 402.86953620286954
    00:00/00:00
  • Desalination Second Law Efficiency ηII 11. Desalination Second Law Effici… 446.14614614614618
    00:00/00:00
  • Untitled: Slide 12 12. Untitled: Slide 12 502.23556890223557
    00:00/00:00
  • Untitled: Slide 13 13. Untitled: Slide 13 529.562896229563
    00:00/00:00
  • Energy in: 14. Energy in: 554.25425425425431
    00:00/00:00
  • Membrane Distillation Advantages 15. Membrane Distillation Advantag… 563.2966299632966
    00:00/00:00
  • Membrane Distillation Process 16. Membrane Distillation Process 598.3650316983651
    00:00/00:00
  • Membrane Distillation Process 17. Membrane Distillation Process 622.05538872205545
    00:00/00:00
  • AGMD Computational Cell 18. AGMD Computational Cell 639.53953953953953
    00:00/00:00
  • Jumping droplet condensation 19. Jumping droplet condensation 712.91291291291293
    00:00/00:00
  • Air Gap Membrane Distillation: Flow Regimes 20. Air Gap Membrane Distillation:… 757.223890557224
    00:00/00:00
  • Air Gap Membrane Distillation Experimental Setup 21. Air Gap Membrane Distillation … 782.78278278278276
    00:00/00:00
  • CuO Superhydrophobic Surface Fabrication 22. CuO Superhydrophobic Surface F… 822.3556890223557
    00:00/00:00
  • CuO Superhydrophobic surface desired properties 23. CuO Superhydrophobic surface d… 873.47347347347352
    00:00/00:00
  • Hydrophobic condensing in MD 24. Hydrophobic condensing in MD 933.03303303303312
    00:00/00:00
  • CuO Coated and silanized surfaces 25. CuO Coated and silanized surfa… 1073.7737737737739
    00:00/00:00
  • Implications of hydrophobic condensing 26. Implications of hydrophobic co… 1114.0807474140809
    00:00/00:00
  • Fouling Types in MD 27. Fouling Types in MD 1176.8435101768437
    00:00/00:00
  • Polymer thin films deposited using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) 28. Polymer thin films deposited u… 1211.0110110110111
    00:00/00:00
  • iCVD for hydrophobic membranes 29. iCVD for hydrophobic membranes 1237.9713046379713
    00:00/00:00
  • Superhydrophobicity & Air Layers 30. Superhydrophobicity & Air Laye… 1270.3703703703704
    00:00/00:00
  • Properties of polymeric membranes 31. Properties of polymeric membra… 1350.2836169502837
    00:00/00:00
  • Superhydrophobicity & Air Layers 32. Superhydrophobicity & Air Laye… 1370.8708708708709
    00:00/00:00
  • Superhydrophobicity & Air Layers 33. Superhydrophobicity & Air Laye… 1445.6456456456458
    00:00/00:00
  • Superhydrophobicity & Air Layers 34. Superhydrophobicity & Air Laye… 1476.8435101768437
    00:00/00:00
  • Energy in: 35. Energy in: 1497.2639305972639
    00:00/00:00
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) 36. Reverse Osmosis (RO) 1605.3053053053054
    00:00/00:00
  • RO Energy Modeling 37. RO Energy Modeling 1673.2065398732066
    00:00/00:00
  • What is Batch? 38. What is Batch? 1743.7103770437104
    00:00/00:00
  • Standard RO 39. Standard RO 1786.3196529863196
    00:00/00:00
  • Batch RO: High Pressure Tank Concept 40. Batch RO: High Pressure Tank C… 1809.0423757090425
    00:00/00:00
  • How to make a high pressure tank Batch Process? 41. How to make a high pressure ta… 1838.7721054387721
    00:00/00:00
  • Batch RO: High Pressure Tank Concept 42. Batch RO: High Pressure Tank C… 1882.4491157824491
    00:00/00:00
  • Analysis details 43. Analysis details 1952.9195862529198
    00:00/00:00
  • Batch Improvement 44. Batch Improvement 2011.544878211545
    00:00/00:00
  • Applications 45. Applications 2081.8151484818154
    00:00/00:00
  • Batch Cost Savings 46. Batch Cost Savings 2248.0480480480483
    00:00/00:00
  • Batch RO in the News 47. Batch RO in the News 2326.0593927260593
    00:00/00:00
  • Commercialization Strategy 48. Commercialization Strategy 2333.733733733734
    00:00/00:00
  • Can we get big benefits too from improving not just the process, 49. Can we get big benefits too fr… 2366.9336002669338
    00:00/00:00
  • Ultrapermeable RO Membranes: Graphene Oxide (GO) 50. Ultrapermeable RO Membranes: G… 2379.1124457791125
    00:00/00:00
  • Energy in: 51. Energy in: 2483.6503169836506
    00:00/00:00
  • Visualizing Water Stress 52. Visualizing Water Stress 2508.742075408742
    00:00/00:00
  • Coolify 53. Coolify 2730.6973640306974
    00:00/00:00
  • Phase-change thermal storage 54. Phase-change thermal storage 2771.9719719719719
    00:00/00:00
  • Vision & Collaboration 55. Vision & Collaboration 2866.6332999666333
    00:00/00:00
  • Energy-Water Nexus Funding Ecosystem 56. Energy-Water Nexus Funding Eco… 2979.1458124791461
    00:00/00:00
  • Water-Energy-Food Nexus 57. Water-Energy-Food Nexus 3049.5161828495161
    00:00/00:00
  • Acknowledgements 58. Acknowledgements 3098.2649315982649
    00:00/00:00
  • Can we save lives with thermodynamics? 59. Can we save lives with thermod… 3108.7754421087757
    00:00/00:00
  • Questions? 60. Questions? 3126.1261261261261
    00:00/00:00
  • Feed Modeling 61. Feed Modeling 3435.3687020353686
    00:00/00:00
  • Air Gap & Condensate 62. Air Gap & Condensate 3438.4050717384052
    00:00/00:00
  • Cooling Channel Modeling 63. Cooling Channel Modeling 3438.8388388388389
    00:00/00:00
  • Efficiency Definitions 64. Efficiency Definitions 3439.0724057390726
    00:00/00:00
  • Model Validation 65. Model Validation 3443.2432432432433
    00:00/00:00
  • η and ɛ 66. η and ɛ 3443.9105772439107
    00:00/00:00
  • GOR vs Flux 67. GOR vs Flux 3446.1127794461131
    00:00/00:00
  • GOR vs Flux 68. GOR vs Flux 3447.0136803470136
    00:00/00:00
  • GOR vs Flux 69. GOR vs Flux 3447.4140807474141
    00:00/00:00