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Avoiding the Hype in Developing Commercially Viable Desalination Technologies

: McCutcheon, J.R.


Joule 3 (2019), Nr.5, S.1168-1171
ISSN: 2542-4351
ISSN: 2542-4785
Fraunhofer USA CEI ()

Hype-driven desalination research often leads to a misappropriation of resources that can stunt truly disruptive innovation. By marrying “hot” technologies (i.e., carbon nanotubes and graphene)to a timely need (the water crisis), poor decisions can be made in identifying viable research and development pathways for making a real impact on the desalination industry. Diverting research dollars to these less-viable pathways can lessen the availability of funds for greater opportunities that are more likely to lead to tangible improvements in desalination. © 2019 Elsevier Inc. [Figure presented]Jeffrey McCutcheon is the Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research & Education at the University of Connecticut in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Fraunhofer USA Center for Energy Innovation located at the university. He is currently the President of the North American Membrane Society and has served as Director and Area Chair in the AIChE Separations Division. He is the recipient of the 2014 FRI/John G. Kunesh Award from AIChE. He has authored more than 75 refereed papers on membrane technology.