digital initiatives logo library logo

University of Idaho News Archive

Please Note: these news items were harvested in September 2015. Some functionality has been disabled. Links may be broken or out of date.
For current news, please visit UI News.

N-E-W Tech™ Project Proposes Better Water Treatment System

Friday, March 20

MOSCOW, Idaho – March 20, 2015 – An Idaho program designed to build on the state’s scientific enterprise announced major funding Wednesday for an evolution in a novel water treatment process patented by University of Idaho scientist Greg Möller.

The Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission governing council awarded a University of Idaho team headed by Möller $427,000 for a one-year project to demonstrate the feasibility of his latest invention, N-E-W Tech™.

Möller is a professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology in the School of Food Science, which is operated jointly by the University of Idaho and Washington State University.

The N-E-W Tech™ system uses biochar, a charcoal-like activated carbon, to expand the capabilities of the environmental chemist’s past discoveries. It promises to remove organic and mineral contaminants in wastewater with high efficiency and generate energy while using the minerals it strips from water to produce fertilizer.

Möller’s discovery of a novel water treatment process more than a decade ago generated six patents that underpin efficient and cost-effective systems to remove phosphorus and other contaminants from wastewater.

Hayden, Idaho-based Blue Water Technologies licensed Moller’s patents from the Idaho Research Foundation and has developed water treatment systems in use or being installed in the U.S., in South Korea and England.

“With N-E-W Tech™ we questioned the status quo and found that small ideas can translate to big solutions with creativity and hard work,” Möller said. “The grand challenges of humankind can often be met by solutions found in nature. We listened to nature and birthed a discovery.”

The IGEM project will rely on UI soil science professor Daniel Strawn, who co-invented a process using biochar to capture phosphorus and other contaminants stripped from wastewater. That process is patent-pending.

Blue Water Technologies will serve as the UI scientists’ industry partner in developing the equipment to apply the discovery to practical wastewater treatment systems.