water lab

The Texas Water and Energy Institute is supported by distinguished researchers and faculty from The University of Texas Permian Basin and other institutions and industry partners. 

Research areas include: 

  • Characterization of produced water using advanced instrumentation 
  • Testing and performance evaluation of water treatment technologies 
  • Data analytics and machine learning
  • Plasmonic metasurface nanostructure-enabled solar energy harvesting for steam generation and water purification 
  • Micro-heat exchanger 
  • Renewable energy-based water treatment technology for reuse and recycle of produced water and wastewater 
  • Social analysis of utilizing brackish or produced water for irrigation on food and forage crops surface 
  • Groundwater contamination, environmental geology, carbon sequestration, and hydrological issues with combining field, laboratory and modeling 
  • Optimal scheduling of fracking operations 
  • Sustainability 
  •  Water-Energy Nexus. 

 Potential Research Topics: 

  • Data Sharing and development of common standards for FPW 
  • Development and access to FPW databases and clearinghouses for information to match generators of FPW with potential users 
  • Optimization of FPW management strategies 
  • FPW fit-for-purpose treatment technology development 
  • Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) 
  • Chemistry of FPW and potential long-term impact of chemical constituents 
  • Extraction of high concentration of dissolved minerals with economic values
  • Cost-benefit analysis of FPW as a usable byproduct 
  • Policy - water rights, liability, regulations, and legal issues 
  • Social issues and public acceptance of drinking treated FPW 
  • Produced water life cycle analysis 
  • Water Efficiency, conservation strategies and recycling 
  • FPW quality, Interrelationships of the biological, chemical, and physical properties 
  • Monitoring and remote sensing of FPW flow using advanced technologies for contaminant detection 
  • Mathematical modeling and simulation of FPW systems   
  • Methodologies for estimating the costs of developing the infrastructures required for treatment of FPW 
  • Studies of biological, chemical, and radiological contaminants in water  
  • Interdependent relationships between FPW and energy 
  • Energy calculations and assessment for coupled energy/water systems 

Data Analytics

A Geospatial Mapping and Phenomenological Relationship for Predicting Total Dissolved Solids in Produced WaterThe objectives of this study are to examine the spatial variability in the concentration of TDS, considering the mixture of formation water and frac fluid is vital for treatment possibilities. Understanding the influence of divalent cation and TDS on fracturing fluid stability is critical in optimizing the design of water treatment processes. Therefore, this study investigates the relationships between TDS and the major constituents contributing to the high TDS concentration in the region using analytical methods. The study provides a data-driven knowledge of the significant TDS contributors and their levels and further insight into the concentration of TDS originating from various counties within the region.