UNM group develops low-cost, steady-state pump with NSF I-Corps funds

April 18, 2022 - by Kim Delker

photo: John Stormont and Ishtiaque Anwar
Professor John Stormont (left) and Ishtiaque Anwar are shown in the geomechanics lab with the new steady-state pump.

A research group in the UNM Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering has developed a cost-effective, steady-state flow pump that has a wide range of uses in chemical feed and core flooding applications.

The patent-pending project, “SHP Pump – a low-cost, rugged, high-pressure inexpensive steady-state flow pump,” led by graduate student Ishtiaque Anwar received National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) funding for the further development and marketing. It was accepted into the spring 2022 I-Corps program, and the team receives $3,000.

The pump was developed in the geomechanics lab of John Stormont, Anwar’s advisor.

Anwar said pumps are required to create a steady-state flow in a wide range of chemical feed and core flooding applications. There are several repair projects that require a high-pressure repair material injection pump, but after handling the corrosive, chemically-active substance, the pumps are often salvaged. Currently, the pumps to create steady-state fluid flow are extremely expensive, and therefore it is not feasible to use the pumps for such projects.

Instead, the UNM team has filled a void for sacrificial pump system that will be able to handle relatively high pressure. It is low-cost and rugged high-pressure pump system that can be used as a sacrificial pump. The pump system contains a barrel and a control assembly, and in some instances, the new pump system can be repaired, instead of replacing the whole unit. The system is capable of creating continuous steady-state flow at a pressure of a maximum of 3000 psi. In addition, this system will be able to inject a variety of liquids such as colloidal substances containing tacky dispersed particles, without blocking the pump over time due to micelle formation from the solution.