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As California—and many other parts of the world—are facing acute water shortages and misusing available resources, the future of the global water supply is bleak. Dr. William Tarpeh is one trailblazing scientist whose work grapples with how to innovate water conservation, filtering, and recycling. Reimagining liquid waste streams as resources, the Tarpeh Lab at Stanford University is researching how to recover valuable products like energy, water, nutrients, and metals through capturing pollutants and creating more efficient, less costly approaches to reducing harmful discharges to the environment. Exploring the electrochemistry behind recovering resources from “waste” waters, Tarpeh will discuss how these cutting-edge processes can change the infrastructure of future water systems.

Dr. William Tarpeh

Dr. William Tarpeh is an assistant professor of Chemic Engineering at Stanford. With a mission to solve major world sanitation problems, his lab develops and evaluates novel approaches to resource recovery the waste from wastewater and turn it into useful products. For example, for his dissertation he developed a method to extract nitrogen from urine, turn it into a gas, and combine it with water to make fertilizer. His work is recognized in the Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list.


Deborah Netburn

Deborah Netburn is a features writer at the Los Angeles Times. Endlessly curious, she’s covered a wide variety of topics since starting at the paper in 2006, including entertainment, home and garden, national news, technology and science. She’s hung out with Tibetan monks in the Pacific Palisades, seen seahorses at the bottom of Alamitos Bay and spent time with the working witches of Los Angeles. She is always looking for a good story.


This program is generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation



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