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2006 Design Team

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2006 MONTANA TECH DESIGN TEAMS

The 2006 Montana Tech Environmental Design Team took three first place awards in the following three categories:

1. Low energy use desalinization system;
2. Cleaning of a water distribution system; and
3. Removal of tetramethylammonium hydroxide
    from liquid waste collection system.

The 2006 Montana Tech Environmental Design Team is pleased to present the results of our research and testing in the 2006 WERC Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development competition in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Tasks 2, 3 and 5 were choosen because of the significance of the issues they address in population groups around the world today.

Task 2 provides a sustainable source of fresh, lost-cost desalinated drinking water while maintaining environmental integrity. Task 3 cleans a contaminated drinking water distribution system and restores service in a safe and clean condition. Task 5 removes tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) from semiconductor waste stream.


We used a best business approach that considered economic impact and sustainability in each proposed solution. All of our designs specifically address the need to keep citizens informed of steps being taken. The solutions comply with all applicable safety and health guidelines and regulations.

Task 2 -- First PLACE


Task 2 team members addressed both technical and ethical concerns in their experimentation and testing processes. Freshwater Research Group (FRG) is a multi-disciplinary consortium focused on the future of the world's potable water supplies.

FRG maintains that fresh water can be provided to communities in arid regions without compromising environmental integrity.

Our Carrier Gas Humidification (CGH) system provides sustainable supply of water, is adaptable to various sources of energy, and has zero waste discharge when coupled with either a salinity gradient power plant or an evaporation pond.

Task 3 -- First PLACE


Clean Sweep Environmental (CSE) demonstrates an easy-to-implement process to clean a municipal water distribution system that has been contaminated with toluene and motor oil (10-30W Pennzoil).

Our solution addresses ease of implementation in existing pipelines, minimum service disruption, high pipeline integrity, minimum waste generation, and cost effectiveness.

Our design is based on a municipal system of 50,000 connections—approximately the size of Boise, Idaho—but the CSE design is applicable to a distribution system of any size.

Task 5 -- First PLACE


TGG Environmental addresses the need to develop a technology to remove tetramethylammonium hydroxide from the semiconductor waste stream. We recognize the importance of using a technology that reduces water usage and generates less hazardous waste. Our treatment technology addresses both reliability and energy efficiency.


Our innovative vapor recompression system lowers disposal costs by concentrating the TMAH waste stream from a 3% to a 50% solution.


Vapor recompression removes the TMAH in the system to a level below 1.2 milligrams per liter. Ninety-four percent of incoming water can be reclaimed or recycled.

Major advisors: Dr. Kumar Ganesan and Dr. Steve Anderson.