Themed collection Emerging Investigator Series
Emerging investigator series: modeling of wastewater treatment bioprocesses: current development and future opportunities
Potential modeling framework of integrating mechanistic and data-driven models to address the microbiological composition and functions that are currently underrepresented in standalone models.
Emerging investigator series: moving beyond resilience by considering antifragility in potable water systems
By incorporating antifragility, water systems may move beyond resilience and improve performance with extreme events.
Emerging investigator series: could the superoxide radical be implemented in decontamination processes?
The superoxide radical (O2˙−) is an important reactive oxygen species (ROS) in diverse natural aquatic systems and engineered water treatment processes.
Emerging investigators series: advances and challenges of graphitic carbon nitride as a visible-light-responsive photocatalyst for sustainable water purification
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is a promising visible-light-responsive photocatalyst for sustainable water purification.
Emerging investigator series: the role of phage lifestyle in wastewater microbial community structures and functions: insights into diverse microbial environments
Harnessing phage for biological treatment is of growing interest, but an improved understanding of phage diversity, host range, lifestyle, molecular signaling, and genetic potential are needed for microbial community control.
Emerging investigator series: emerging biotechnologies in wastewater treatment: from biomolecular engineering to multiscale integration
Bottom-up engineering approaches are transforming biological wastewater treatment.
Emerging investigators series: frontier review: occurrence and speciation of chromium in drinking water distribution systems
Chromium can exist as both trivalent Cr(III) and hexavalent Cr(VI) in typical drinking water conditions, with Cr(VI) being of particular concern due to its high toxicity and new regulatory perspectives.
Emerging investigators series: sewer surveillance for monitoring antibiotic use and prevalence of antibiotic resistance: urban sewer epidemiology
Sewer surveillance may be a useful tool for epidemiology that would benefit from improved understanding of the fate of microbial agents and prescription antibiotics during conveyance in sewer systems.
Emerging investigator series: photocatalytic membrane reactors: fundamentals and advances in preparation and application in wastewater treatment
Photocatalytic membrane reactors (PMRs) can degrade organic compounds in wastewater and in water from different real matrices. The PMR surface can be modified for anti-fouling/self-cleaning properties, enabling reuse and extending lifespan.
Emerging investigator series: membrane distillation and high salinity: analysis and implications
In energy efficient membrane distillation, the low transmembrane temperature difference exacerbates salinity's effect on water flux and specific energy consumption.
Emerging investigators series: revisiting greenhouse gas mitigation from conventional activated sludge and anaerobic-based wastewater treatment systems
Elucidation of N2O formation mechanisms in aerobic-based wastewater treatment is essential for effective greenhouse gas mitigation, whereas mainstream anaerobic treatment requires improved methane recoverability.
Emerging investigators series: prospects and challenges for high-pressure reverse osmosis in minimizing concentrated waste streams
If challenges such as mechanical stability, scaling, biofouling and concentration polarization at high pressures are addressed, high-pressure RO could be used to efficiently remove water from high-salinity waste brines as part of a zero-liquid-discharge disposal process.
Emerging investigator series: the role of vegetation in bioretention for stormwater treatment in the built environment: pollutant removal, hydrologic function, and ancillary benefits
Bioretention vegetation contributes to both the hydrologic and pollutant removal functions of bioretention.
Emerging investigators series: a critical review of decision support systems for water treatment: making the case for incorporating climate change and climate extremes
We present potential impacts of climate on drinking water treatment and review decision support systems for these utilities.
Emerging investigators series: the efficacy of chlorine photolysis as an advanced oxidation process for drinking water treatment
The photolysis of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite (OCl−) produces a suite of reactive oxidants, including hydroxyl radicals (˙OH), chlorine radicals (Cl˙), and ozone (O3).
Emerging investigators series: virus mitigation by coagulation: recent discoveries and future directions
Forces influencing virion sorption and recent findings of coagulation-based inactivation inform new research directions for mitigating waterborne viruses by coagulation.
Emerging investigators series: the source and fate of pandemic viruses in the urban water cycle
This review provides a comprehensive look at whether a pandemic enveloped virus would pose challenges for the wastewater and drinking water industries.
Emerging investigator series: low doses of electron beam irradiation effectively degrade 1,4-dioxane in water within a few seconds
The application of electron beam technology for water treatment has been proposed as a faster & safer approach to decomposing persistent contaminants, because it can rapidly generate high amounts of both oxidizing and reducing reactive species without added chemicals.
Emerging investigator series: enhancing the degradation of ciprofloxacin in water using Oxone activated by urchin-like cubic and hollow-structured cobalt@N-doped carbon prepared by etching-engineering: a comparative study with mechanistic and eco-toxic assessments
Enhancing the degradation of ciprofloxacin in water using Oxone activated by urchin-like cubic and hollow-structured cobalt@N-doped carbon.
Emerging investigator series: impacts of aeration flow rates and bubble sizes on PFOA/PFOS removal in electrocoagulation
The impacts of aeration (in terms of bubble sizes and airflow rates) on PFOA/PFOS removal as well as electrocoagulation performance were examined in this study.
Emerging investigator series: microplastic-based leachate formation under UV irradiation: the extent, characteristics, and mechanisms
Aqueous microplastic were tested in terms of leachate formation and surface oxidation during UV irradiation. Surface properties (FTIR, RAMAN, XPS) and leachate characteristics (UV254, DOC, fluorescence spectroscopy) were analyzed concurrently.
Emerging investigator series: environment-specific auxiliary substrates tailored for effective cometabolic bioremediation of 1,4-dioxane
DD4 can coordinate with native microbiomes to degrade 1,4-dioxane when fueled with propane and 1-propanol in biomass-rich and -poor environments, respectively.
Elucidating morphological effects in membrane mineral fouling using real-time particle imaging and impedance spectroscopy
Mineral fouling is a major hindrance to high recovery effluent nanofiltration, with calcium phosphate (Ca-P) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) the most prevalent mineral foulants.
Emerging investigator series: meta-analyses on SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA levels in wastewater and their correlations to epidemiological indicators
Recent applications of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) have demonstrated its ability to track the spread and dynamics of COVID-19 at the community level.
Emerging investigator series: a comparison of strong and weak-acid functionalized carbon electrodes in capacitive deionization
Strong-acid functionalized cathode is pH stable and sulfonic groups are stable to charge–discharge cycling.
Emerging investigator series: effects of sediment particle size on the spatial distributions of contaminants and bacterial communities in the reservoir sediments
This study investigates the effects of sediment particle size on the spatial distributions of contaminants and bacterial communities in the reservoir sediments, which can guide the implementation of partial desilting in the reservoirs.
Emerging investigator series: electrochemically-mediated remediation of GenX using redox-copolymers
GenX is a major per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) of environmental concern. Redox-copolymers are explored as selective adsorbents for the electrochemically-mediated separation and remediation of GenX from water.
Emerging investigator series: thermodynamic and energy analysis of nitrogen and phosphorous recovery from wastewaters
This study quantified the theoretical minimum energy required to recover fertilizer products from different environmental waste streams.
Emerging investigator series: rapid defluorination of 22 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in water using sulfite irradiated by medium-pressure UV
The removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water supplies is crucial to protect the public and the environment.
Emerging investigator series: toward the ultimate limit of seawater desalination with mesopelagic open reverse osmosis
Operating reverse osmosis (RO) in the mesopelagic zone (i.e., a few hundred meters under the ocean surface) with open modules can potentially reduce the energy consumption of seawater desalination by over 50% to approach the thermodynamic limit.
Emerging investigator series: local pH effects on carbon oxidation in capacitive deionization architectures
Ion exchange membranes provide stabilized local pH in MCDI.
Emerging investigator series: interacting effects of environmental factors on Daphnia magna removal of Escherichia coli from wastewater
Zooplankton can significantly impact E. coli inactivation in wastewater, but inactivation rates are dependent on environmental conditions.
Emerging investigator series: 3D graphene anchored zerovalent Fe/Cu aerogel activating persulfate for efficiently 2,4 dichlorophenol degradation over a broad pH range
3D graphene anchored zerovalent metal aerogel as an alternative route for the efficient removal of organic pollutants from wastewater.
Emerging investigator series: disaggregating residential sector high-resolution smart water meter data into appliance end-uses with unsupervised machine learning
Disaggregation of residential smart water meter data can support peak demand quantification and customized conservation and efficiency recommendations.
Emerging investigator series: emerging disinfection by-product quantification method for wastewater reuse: trace level assessment using tandem mass spectrometry
A sensitive analytical method was developed that simultaneously characterizes 25 unregulated DBPs in wastewater effluents. DBP formation potential with HOCl and NH2Cl was evaluated across a full-scale wastewater reuse facility for the first time.
Emerging investigator series: quaternary treatment with algae-assisted oxidation for antibiotics removal and refractory organics degradation in livestock wastewater effluent
This study deals with algae-induced alkalization of refractory wastewater, focusing on improving the performance of subsequent oxidation processes along with direct removal of antibiotics resistant to certain oxidation methods.
Emerging investigator series: bacterial opportunistic pathogen gene markers in municipal drinking water are associated with distribution system and household plumbing characteristics
Municipally-treated drinking water (DW) is a potential source of exposure to bacterial opportunistic pathogens (OPs), which can cause infection in susceptible individuals.
Emerging investigator series: onsite recycling of saline–alkaline soil washing water by forward osmosis: techno-economic evaluation and implication
This study investigated the techno-economic feasibility of forward osmosis (FO) for onsite recycling of saline–alkaline soil washing water with an all-purpose liquid fertiliser as a draw solution.
Emerging investigator series: engineering membrane distillation with nanofabrication: design, performance and mechanisms
Anti-fouling and durability are two important parameters that are closely associated with the development and deployment of membrane distillation (MD).
Emerging investigator series: phosphorus recovery from municipal wastewater by adsorption on steelmaking slag preceding forward osmosis: an integrated process
Phosphorus is a critical non-renewable mineral essential for sustainable crop production.
Emerging investigator series: activated sludge upon antibiotic shock loading: mechanistic description of functional stability and microbial community dynamics
Elucidating the functional stability upon environmental stressors is of great practical importance for managing the system performance of various environmental biological processes (e.g., activated sludge).
Emerging investigator series: carbon electrodes are effective for the detection and reduction of hexavalent chromium in water
Electrochemical methods using carbon electrodes are an attractive option for the detection and reduction of toxic Cr(VI) to benign Cr(III) in drinking water.
Emerging investigator series: formation of brominated haloacetamides from trihalomethanes during zero-valent iron reduction and subsequent booster chlorination in drinking water distribution
This study investigated the transformation of a THM mixture and the change of toxicity risk in drinking water distribution systems for the first time.
Emerging investigator series: control of membrane fouling by dissolved algal organic matter using pre-oxidation with coagulation as seawater pretreatment
High AOM removal achieved by pre-oxidation with coagulation–flocculation-dissolved air flotation. In situ ferrate was formed by wet chemical oxidation of NaOCl-Fe3+. Membrane fouling was significantly alleviated and assessed by OCT technique.
Emerging investigator series: capacitive deionization for selective removal of nitrate and perchlorate: impacts of ion selectivity and operating constraints on treatment costs
A parameterized costing model was used to investigate the impacts of ion selectivity on water treatment price for selective ion removal with capacitive deionization (CDI) systems.
Emerging investigator series: transformation of common antibiotics during water disinfection with chlorine and formation of antibacterially active products
This study determined that at chlorination conditions representative of wastewater treatment, fluoroquinolones, one of the common antibiotic classes, form antibacterially active products.
Emerging investigator series: photocatalysis for MBR effluent post-treatment: assessing the effects of effluent organic matter characteristics
Organic matter from a membrane bioreactor is fractionated and characterized in novel ways to understand component-specific inhibition of photooxidation reactions.
Emerging investigator series: inhibition and recovery of anaerobic granular sludge performance in response to short-term polystyrene nanoparticle exposure
Microbial communities and methanogenic genes are main reasons for AGS performance recovery from PS-NPs exposure.
Emerging investigators series: occurrence and fate of emerging organic contaminants in wastewater treatment plants with an enhanced nitrification step
The goal of this study is to investigate the occurrence and removal of emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) during wastewater treatment processes and understand the role of enhanced nitrification treatment in removing EOCs.
Emerging investigators series: ultraviolet and free chlorine aqueous-phase advanced oxidation process: kinetic simulations and experimental validation
An elementary reaction based kinetic model was developed for the fate of acetone degradation in UV/free chlorine advanced oxidation process.
Emerging investigators series: comparative study of naproxen degradation by the UV/chlorine and the UV/H2O2 advanced oxidation processes
The UV/chlorine and UV/H2O2 AOPs on the degradation of naproxen were compared. The efficiency of naproxen was much higher by UV/chlorine compared to UV/H2O2 under all the tested conditions. ClO˙ and CO3˙− played important roles in the degradation of naproxen.
Emerging investigators series: a steric pore-flow model to predict the transport of small and uncharged solutes through a reverse osmosis membrane
This study proposed a new approach to apply the steric pore-flow model to predict the rejection of eight N-nitrosamines and seven VOCs that are of great concern in potable water reuse through an RO membrane.
Emerging investigators series: comparing the inherent reactivity of often-overlooked aqueous chlorinating and brominating agents toward salicylic acid
Rates and selectivity of salicylic acid halogenation can be influenced by highly electrophilic species such as Cl2, BrCl, and BrOCl.
Emerging investigators series: trihalomethane, dihaloacetonitrile, and total N-nitrosamine precursor adsorption by modified carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and CNT micropillars
Modified carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and CNT micropillars are shown to adsorb organic precursors of disinfection byproducts, most notably those of total N-nitrosamines.
Emerging investigators series: hydrogen sulfide production in municipal stormwater retention ponds under ice covered conditions: a study of water quality and SRB populations
Sulfide production in stormwater ponds is a result of increased ubiquitous SRB activity.
Emerging investigators series: highly effective adsorption of organic aromatic molecules from aqueous environments by electronically sorted single-walled carbon nanotubes
The use of electronically sorted (i.e. semiconducting or metallic) single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) for the removal of organic compounds from aqueous environments is investigated.
Emerging investigators series: prioritization of suspect hits in a sensitive suspect screening workflow for comprehensive micropollutant characterization in environmental samples
A suspect screening workflow was developed and applied to a series of samples collected from a small urban water system to identify and confirm the occurrence of 112 organic micropollutants.
Emerging investigators series: building a theory for smart stormwater systems
Smart stormwater systems will transform cities into coordinated and real-time controlled treatment plants.
Emerging investigators series: using an analytical solution approach to permit high volume groundwater withdrawals
Sustainable water management is paramount to ensuring continued access to fresh water resources.
Emerging investigators series: disinfection by-products in mixed chlorine dioxide and chlorine water treatment
On-site generation of ClO2 often involves the production of Cl2 as impurity and the changes of disinfection by-products formation by mixed disinfectant (ClO2/Cl2) was presented.
Emerging investigators series: silica-crosslinked graphene oxide membrane and its unique capability in removing neutral organic molecules from water
A new graphene oxide (GO) membrane was synthesized by crosslinking GO nanosheets via silica. This membrane was found to remove neutral organic molecules much more efficiently than negatively charged ionic species.
Emerging investigators series: untangling the microbial ecosystem and kinetics in a nitrogen removing photosynthetic high density bioreactor
Metabolic kinetics, microscopy, metagenomic analysis, and real-time PCR are applied to characterize nitrogen species transformation and identify and quantify the organisms key to these transformational processes.
Emerging investigators series: microbial communities in full-scale drinking water distribution systems – a meta-analysis
In this study, we co-analyze all available 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies from bulk drinking water samples in full-scale drinking water distribution systems.
Emerging investigators series: prediction of trace organic contaminant abatement with UV/H2O2: development and validation of semi-empirical models for municipal wastewater effluents
Recent evaluations of potable reuse treatment trains suggest that the use of UV and UV/H2O2 may become increasingly common, particularly in systems employing ozone and/or biofiltration.
Emerging investigators series: pyrolysis removes common microconstituents triclocarban, triclosan, and nonylphenol from biosolids
Pyrolysis could be used as a biosolids processing step that reduces the amount of organic microconstituents discharged to the environment with residual biosolids.
Emerging investigators series: formation of disinfection byproducts during the preparation of tea and coffee
This study examined the formation of selected disinfection byproducts (DBPs) during the chlorination of breakfast, Earl Grey and green tea, and from instant and filter coffee.
About this collection
Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology is pleased to present this growing web collection, showcasing the work being conducted by Emerging Investigators in water engineering and technology across the globe. It highlights up-and-coming scientists in the early stages of their independent careers, who have been identified as having the potential to influence future directions in the field.
This collection will be updated when new Emerging Investigator Series papers are published – so keep checking this page and watch the collection grow.
More details about the Emerging Investigator Series can be found on the blog, including details on how to apply for consideration and interviews with the corresponding authors featured in this collection. Direct links to each of these interviews can be found below.
- Andrea Achilli
- Onur Apul
- Kevin Bisceglia
- Tom Bond
- Roland Cusick
- Robert Delatolla
- Noémie Elgrishi
- Nicole Fahrenfeld
- Julian Fairey
- Takahiro Fujioka
- Jingyun Fang
- Li Gao
- Daniel Gerrity
- Joseph Goodwill
- Changseok Han
- David Hanigan
- Damian Helbling
- Xiaocheng Jiang
- Joseph Kasprzyk
- Oyla Keen
- Kyoung-Yeol Kim
- Manish Kumar
- James Landon
- Greg LeFevre
- Mengyang Li
- Kun-Yi Andrew Lin
- Haizhou Liu
- Brooke Mayer
- Patrick McNamara
- Yujie Men
- Baoxia Mi
- Daisuke Minakata
- Oded Nir
- Seungdae Oh
- Alexandre Pinto
- Ameet Pinto
- Biplob Pramanik
- Christy Remucal
- John-David Rocha
- Reginald Rogers
- Christopher Sales
- Danmeng Shaui
- John Sivey
- Adam Smith
- Samuel Snow
- Xiao Su
- Jeseth Delgado Vela
- Arjun Venkatesan
- Chu Wenhai
- Krista Wigginton
- Ray Xiao
- Xin Yang
- Xian-Zheng Yuan
- Heyang Yuan