Advanced oxidation technologies and bioprocess engineering have great potentials to contribute and lead to cleaner environment and new sources of energy. Research in my laboratory focuses on the application of advanced oxidation technologies and their applications to the removal of organic contaminants from air and water. In particular, we focus on the developing and evaluating technologies for drinking water treatment. Also, we work on the application of bioprocess engineering to clean fuel production and waste management.
Advanced oxidation processes involve various combinations of ozone, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet (UV), and photocatalytic techniques that are capable of oxidizing a wide range of contaminants at moderate to high concentrations. My research interests are primarily on the development of UV based advanced oxidation processes (i.e., UV-H2O2 or UV-photocatalysis) that can replace conventional and often more expensive treatment technologies. Specific objectives involve proper selection of photocatalysts, reactor configuration, UV irradiation, and operating parameters, all these being crucial for complete oxidation process and preventing the formation of harmful by-products. A specific focus in our team is on the application of UV based advanced oxidation to the removal of micropollutants and disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors in drinking water. This collaborative research involves the development, design, and evaluation of various advanced oxidation systems for the purpose of enhancing the overall quality of drinking water, especially for small and rural communities.
Microbial fuel cell and biological hydrogen production
In this research, we use the capacity of microorganisms to oxidize environmental pollutants and to produce electricity and/or hydrogen fuel. Specific focus is on the development and evaluation of microbial fuel cells that utilize waste biomass and agricultural waste materials as substrate to produce electricity.
Biological air and water treatment
Our research in this area focuses on processing of biological systems and biological waste (air and water) treatment. A particular attention is given to biofiltration, a cost effective technology, for the treatment of low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in contaminated air streams.