Osmotic Team Accomplishments Grab Headlines

Natalie Rogers September 08, 2017
NM EPSCoR research through the Osmotic Power Team is getting some much deserved attention in Socorro for their collaborative work with Masson Greenhouse, a large local greenhouse using geothermal energy. Team lead Frank Huang and his students have spend the last four years fabricating and testing membranes with the ability to clean brackish geothermal waters so it can be used to water the plants grown at the greenhouse. New Mexico Tech's newsroom published an article that was picked up by the local Socorro county newspaper, the El Defensor Chieftain.

Carolyn Medin shows off a membrane in Dr. Huang's lab at New Mexico Tech

NM EPSCoR graduate student Adriana Nieto was featured in the story's photograph (and the banner above), and NM EPSCoR student Carolyn Medin, pictured right, was interviewed for the paper.

Carolyn Medin, graduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Depart explained the process, which involves two steps.

“We’ll use their hot water — geothermal water — to drive our process,” Medin said. “We run cold water through the inside of the membrane, a hollow membrane, and then we run hot water from the geothermal source to the outside... They have a bunch of pipes underneath the plant beds and it keeps the greenhouse warm just by piping the geothermal fluid. The geothermal water that comes out of the ground is brackish, in other words salty, which cannot be used for irrigation.”

Dr. Huang was also interviewed for the stories. Read New Mexico Tech's news report here and the El Defensor Chieftain article here.