Our research group performs largely experimental work on environmental separations and primary aerosols. We have obtained funding from federal sources, State of Texas, as well as other industrial and research consortia to support our research activities. A brief description of our current and recently concluded work is given below.
Our water/wastewater purification research includes:
- Colloidal transport mechanisms in treatment processes.
- Methods to enhance removal/inactivation of waterborne viruses.
- Fouling of pressure-driven membranes and control via pretreatment.
- Desalination for potable reuse and hypersaline industrial wastewater.
- Treatment of drinking water, municipal wastewater, and hydraulic fracturing wastewater.
Our research on primary atmospheric particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) includes:
- Trace metals measurement. We have pioneered digestion and ICP-MS methods for rare earth elements, platinum group elements, and a host of other representative and transition metals present in urban particulate matter in the USA.
- Long-range aerosol transport; e.g. Sahara-Sahel dust and Central American smoke to Texas.
- Emissions from fluidized bed catalytic cracking units of petroleum refining operations.
- Tailpipe and non-tailpipe emissions from gasoline-driven light duty vehicles.
- Source apportionment in industrialized urban areas.
Examples of current and recently concluded projects are:
- Membrane autopsy for fouling identification and cleaning.
- Produced water treatment to generate clean brine and its desalination.
- Microorganism attenuation by aggregation and inactivation by (electro)coagulation.
- Optimizing microfilter productivity during water treatment and potable reuse.
- Advanced pretreatment for desalination.
- Electrocoagulation pretreatment for microfilter fouling reduction and enhanced virus removal.
- Quantifying North African dust, Central American biomass burning smoke, and proximal sources using rare earths, transition (platinum group) metals, and main group elements.