University of California, Riverside

Dr Liu Lab Group

 Water Chemistry and Technology Lab

Welcome to Water Chemistry & Technology Research Group at UC Riverside!

2016 Liu

Our group's research is focused on the understanding and application of aquatic chemical processes to improve water quality, design treatment processes and provide more reliable water supplies. We face great challenges on the availability of high-quality water resources. Aquatic chemistry plays a pivotal role in both the engineered and natural systems of water cycle. Our research focuses on the applications of aquatic chemistry principles to our benefits in engineered applications such as water purification and wastewater reclamation, as well as to understand how various redox and interfacial chemical processes influence natural systems such as estuarine, surface and groundwater. We aim to understand these important steps of water cycle with a "source to tap and beyond" approach. We seek to integrate fundamental principles of surface chemistry, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics modeling with advanced analytical capacities to address these issues. In addition, we are active in outreach activities to serve our community in science education, raise public awareness on water issues and inspire the next generation of professionals and scientists. If you would like to learn more about us, please take a look at our website, check our research opportunity webpage and feel free to contact me for more information. We are always excited to hear from colleagues and potential students who share an interest in these interdisciplinary fields.



                                  Recent Group News                               

August 2018 Prof. Liu's group receives funding from Department of Interior.  Our group receives funding from the Desalination and Water Purification Program within the Department of Interior. The project aims to develop pilot-scale innovative water reuse and desalination treatment. Read the press release here

August 2018 Our recent work on water reuse technology is featured in UCR Today Magazine. Water reuse technology developed from our lab on the removal of trace organic contaminants is featured by UCR Today. Check out the video and the press release here.

August 2018 Dr. Liu recognized at faculty Awards Reception. Dr. Liu is among a group of UCR’s faculty who were recognized at the 2017-2018 Faculty Awards Reception. The celebration, held by the Chancellor and the Provost, recognized UCR faculty members who received significant national awards in the past academic school year.

August 2018 Student wins best paper award. Congratulations to PhD student Gongde in winning the best student paper award at the 2018 Los Angeles Environmental Forum! Gongde will present his award-winning research work on photochemical nitrate reductive technology at the annual conference organized by the LA Environmental Forum. 

July 2018 Prof. Liu's group receives funding from NSF. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds Dr. Liu's group to combine computational techniques with laboratory measurements to understand changes in chemical reactions that occur in wastewater during treatment and reuse. Our project will be a collaborative effort with Dr. Bryan Wong's group at UCR. 

June 2018 Collaboration paper on gold nanoparticles is accepted. Our collaborative work with UCR mechanical engineers on the synthesis of gold nanoparticles is accepted by Nanoscale. Congratulations to all! Check the article here.

May 2018 Water reuse paper on chloramine photochemistry is accepted. Our novel discovery on the photolysis of chloramines for water reuse application is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Congratulations to Sam, and our collaborators at Orange County Water District and University of Salerno in Italy! Check the article here.

May 2018 Toxicity paper on recycled water accepted. Our manuscript on the evaluation of toxicity of recycled water using bioassays is accepted by Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. Congratulations to all co-authors!  Check the article here.

May 2018 Chromium paper accepted by ES&T. Our manuscript on the discovery of a novel pathway to control toxic chromium occurrence in drinking water is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Congrats to Michelle! Check the article here.

May 2018 Group member received best presentation award. Graduate student Tushar Jain received a best student presentation award at the 2018 UCR Earth Week Environmental Sustainability Symposium. Congratulations!

April 2018 Water reuse paper accepted by ES&T. Our manuscript on the development of persulfate-based water reuse technology is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Congrats to all and our collaborators! Check the article here.

March 2018 Prof. Liu receives tenure. Prof. Liu is promoted to Associated Professor with tenure. Congratulations to the whole Liu group!

March 2018 Paper featured as the top 10 most downloaded articles in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2017. Our paper in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology has been featured as one of the “top 10 most downloaded articles” in Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2017. Congratulations to all!

March 2018 Paper featured as the top 10 most downloaded articles in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts in 2017. Our paper in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts has been featured as one of the “top 10 most downloaded articles” in Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts in 2017. Congratulations to all!

March 2018 Best presentation award at the International UV Association Conference! Gongde and Dr. Liu attended the International UV Association North America Conference, and gave presentations on the application of photochemistry for nutrient management and water reuse. Gongde won one of the Best Student Presentation Awards! Congratulation, Gongde!

February 2018 Postdoctoral Associate Sumant Avasarala joined the Liu group. We welcome Sumant from the University of New Mexico as the newest postdoc joining our group!

January 2018 Liu group gave presentations at the American Water Works Association Water Reuse Conference. Dr. Liu attended the Water Reuse Conference Organized by American Water Works Association, and gave a presentation on chloramine photolysis for potable reuse.

December 2017 Paper selected as the Editor's Choice Paper of 2017 by Environmental Sciences: Water Research & Technology. Paper Our paper on the kinetic modeling on ultraviolet advanced oxidation process for water reuse is selected as the Editor's Choice Paper of 2017 by Environmental Sciences: Water Research & Technology! The Editor's Choice Papers are considered to be amongst the best papers published in the journal during 2017. Please check this article here.

November 2017 Two new PhD students join the Liu group. We welcome Liang Wu and Cheng Tan as two new PhD students joining our group! 

September 2017 Postdoctoral Associate Kiran Mangalgiri joined the Liu group. We welcome Kiran Mangalgiri from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a new postdoc joining our group! 

September 2017 Invited seminar at Yale University. Dr. Liu gave an invited seminar in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University. 

September 2017 Invited seminar at John Hopkins University. Dr. Liu gave an invited seminar in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at John Hopkins University. 

September 2017 Paper published in the Environmental Science & Technology. Gongde's paper to investigate vanadium redox chemistry using electrochemical techniques is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Congratulations!

September 2017 Congratulations to Lucy on completing her PhD work! Lucy worked on sulfate radical based oxidative water treatment the past four years and has authored four publications, with two additional in preparation. Lucy will soon start as a research chemist with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest supplier of treated water in the United States and internationally well known. We wish her all the success in the future!

September 2017 Congratulations to Michelle on successfully defending her dissertation! Michelle's PhD work on chromium chemistry in drinking water has resulted in multiple publications and conference presentations. Michelle will take an engineer position with Hazen and Sawyer, an environmental engineering consulting firm well known in water industry. We wish her best of luck in her future career! 

August 2017 Sam attended the Gordon Research Conference in Disinfection By-Products and gave poster presentation on his water reuse project. Dr. Liu also attended the conference, and met with colleagues and collaborators. 

July 2017 Dr. Liu receives a Regents Faculty Development Award from UC Riverside Academic Senate. This award is funded by the University of California Office of the President to support Assistant Professors who are approaching tenure with innovative research projects!

July 2017 Our paper on the effects of bromide on lead release in drinking water distribution system is accepted by Chemical Communications. Congratulations to John and Sam!

June 2017 We welcome five new students joining our group in the summer! They are Oswaldo Mireles from San Bernadino Valley Community College, Jesus Trujillo from Valley High School, Steve Crumly from University of La Verne, Chrystal Knox from Jackson State University, and Daniel White from UCR Jump Start Program. The summer research opportunities for students are part of educational and outreach efforts with our collaborators at UCR, in California and Mississippi. 

June 2017 Dr. Liu attended the biennial meeting of Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors at the University of Michigan. He gave a talk on the chemistry of water distribution systems.

June 2017 Michelle attended the American Water Works Association Annual Conference. She represented the best poster presenter from the California-Neveda section to attend the conference and presented her work on hexavalent chromium. 

June 2017 Gongde attended the Gordon Research Conference in Environmental Nanotechnology. He also gave an oral presentation at the Gordon Research Seminar.

April 2017 Our group receives a research contract from Water Research Foundation to work on chloramine-based water reuse treatment in collaboration with Orange County Water District. 

April 2017 Our group receives a NSF award on Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate - Graduate Research Supplements (AGEP-GRS). This supplement provides additional graduate student support to work on a water reuse project. 

April 2017 Tushar won a First Place Award in Innovation at the Spring Green Expo organized by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Tushar showcased his research on the recovery of phosphorus from membrane concentrate. Congratulations! More details can be found here.

April 2017 Michelle attended the American Water Works Association California-Nevada Sectional Conference, and won the First Place in Fresh Idea Poster Competition. She gave a poster presentation on the fate and chemistry of hexavalent chromium in drinking water. Congratulations!

April 2017 Our group attended ACS Spring Meeting in San Francisco, and gave four platform presentations in total. Our group's research was well represented at the conference. Congratulations to Gongde, Sam and Lucy. 

March 2017 Dr. Liu gave an invited seminar at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

March 2017 Our paper on disinfection of pathogenic E. coli using sulfate radical based treatment is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology Letters. This is part of our collaborative work with Dr. Sharon Walker's group. Congratulations to MS student Dawit who conducted this study!

March 2017 Our paper on in situ groundwater remediation using sulfate radical based treatment is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Congratulations to Lucy! 

March 2017 In collaboration with our colleague Dr. David Jassby's group, we published a paper on electrochemical reductive treatment of hexavalent chromium in Journal of Membrane Science. PhD student Gongde co-led the experimental investigation. Congratulations! 

February 2017 Our group is part of a collaboration team led by Plant Pathologists at UCR that received USDA funding to study citrus green. Read more at UCR Today.

February 2017 Our paper on the assessment of density functional theory methods to predict sulfate radical driven oxidation reaction for water reuse applications is accepted by Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, a Royal Society of Chemistry journal. This is part of a collaborative work with our UCR computational colleague.

February 2017 Dr. Liu was interviewed by Smithsonian Magazine and discussed lead release in Flint, Michigan. Read more here.

January 2017 Congratulations to Dr. Liu's group for receiving the NSF CAREER Award titled "CAREER: Beyond Conventional Drinking Water Management: Control of Redox-driven in situ Release of Accumulated Inorganic Contaminants from Water Distribution Infrastructure".

More news can be found here.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
Liu Research Group

Tel: (951) 827-7162
Fax: (951) 827-5696
Research Group Website

Related Links