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Paul Westerhoff : 2006 Paul L. Busch Award Recipient
By Elizabeth Striano
Nov 2, 2006
  E-mail article
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ALEXANDRIA, VA -- The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presented the Paul L. Busch Award to Paul Westerhoff, Ph.D, at its annual subscriber luncheon at WEFTEC 2006 in Dallas, TX. Westerhoff was selected for his research investigating the fate of commercial nanomaterials in drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, and their potential human toxicity.

The Paul L. Busch award carries with it a $100,000 research grant that will aid Westerhoff and his team at Arizona State University as they attempt to provide fundamental knowledge of nanomaterial interactions that will facilitate their control in wastewater treatment plants. It is hoped that this research will improve operations of existing plant processes (e.g., membranes, filters, sedimentation basins, UV irradiation) and catalyze research opportunities on the beneficial use of nanotechnology in diagnostic tools or treatment processes.

"We need to recognize the new and potential impacts of nanomaterials at wastewater treatment plants today," says Westerhoff. "Let's not wait five or ten years before we find nanomaterials ubiquitously in our rivers."

Nanomaterials--structures no larger than a billionth of a meter wide--are becoming increasingly common in manufactured goods and are frequently found in products as diverse as cosmetics and stain-resistant paints. Although this emerging technology brings advanced products and scientific advances to humanity, little scientific information is currently available on nanomaterials' fate in water and wastewater treatment plants, whether they are present in biosolids or effluent, or their potential impact on the treatment processes.

"Paul Westerhoff's research is an important first step in ensuring that the water quality community has the tools and fundamental knowledge it needs to properly manage nanomaterials," says Glenn Reinhardt, WERF executive director. "The vision and foresight of his work mark a commendable addition to the legacy of Paul L. Busch."

Westerhoff is an environmental engineering professor at Arizona State University. In addition to the Paul L. Busch Award, he has received numerous honors, including the Quentin Mees Research Award from the Arizona Water and Wastewater Association (AWPCA) and the American Society for Civil Engineers' Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize.

The WERF Endowment for Innovation in Applied Water Quality Research presents the Paul L. Busch Award each year at WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation's technical exhibition and conference. For more information on the award, visit the Funding section of WERF's website and click on "Paul L. Busch Award."

Source: http://www.werf.org/

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