Sep 29, 2022, noon CDT
Reuse of reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation is important for the sustainable management of water resources, when the presence of trace organic compounds can pose potential human health risk. We have developed a model for simulating the pH-dependent speciation and fate of ionizable organic compounds in soils and their plant uptake during the application of reclaimed wastewater to agricultural soils. The simulation showed that pH plays an important role in regulating the plant uptake of organic compounds. Such modeling results demonstrate the importance of considering pH, speciation of ionizable organic compounds, and organic matter-mineral association for simulating their fate in the soil-plant system. Our current research has been devoted to understanding the molecular-level processes for organic matter-mineral association in soil environment, with focus on identifying the unknown redox and complexation-reactive organic matter in soil and water environment using a protocol combining chromatographic separation, reactivity screening, and high resolution mass spectrometry analysis. Our efforts hopefully can shed light on uncovering the chemical nature of complex organic matter critical for the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and water reuse.
Yu (Frank) Yang is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently on sabbatical in the Department of Geosciences at University of Tuebingen (Germany) working with Professor Andreas Kappler. His research expertise & interests have been focused on the environmental chemistry of organic carbon & emerging contaminants in natural & engineering systems, with implications on carbon cycle, climate change, & water reuse. Funded by NSF, DOE, USDA, & industrial partners, his research has led to over 80 peer-reviewed journal publications & 1 book (John Wiley & Sons Publisher). He has served as Associate Editor or equivalent roles for 7 journals & has been recognized by Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, US National Academy of Engineering/EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Selected Attendee, Nevada System of Higher Education Regents’ Rising Researcher Award, RSC Emerging Investigators (twice), EST Best Reviewer & others.