University of California, Riverside

Dr Liu Lab Group

 Water Chemistry and Treatment Lab

       Welcome to Liu Research Group at UC Riverside!


Liu Group Picture - Winter 2017
First row from left: Tushar Jain, Michelle Chebeir, Sam Patton, Gongde Chen
Second row from left: John Orta, Lucy Li, Handong Wang, Mariano Romano and Haizhou Liu

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                                   

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!

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".

December 2016 Our paper on the the UV photolysis of monochloramine and its implication on water reuse application is accepted by Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Congratulations to Sam and Lucy!

December 2016 We welcome three new members joining our group, including CEE PhD student John Orta, visiting student Mariano Romano from University of Salerno, Italy and CEE undergraduate student Hangdong Wang. 

December 2016 Dr. Liu was interviewed by the journal of Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology as part of the Emerging Investigator Series. The full interview is here

December 2016 Dr. Liu gave an invited seminar in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Missouri, Columbia. 

December 2016 Our group is part of a collaborative team with PIs from five UC campuses that is a recipient of the 2017 UC Multicampus Research Programs and Initiatives (MRPI) awards. MRPI funding supports innovative multicampus research collaborations that strengthen UC’s position as a leading public research university. Our research project will be focused on the treatment of stormwater as a new drinking water supply.

November 2016 Our paper on the development of a new reductive TiO2 nanocrystal catalyst for hexavalent chromium removal is published in Water Research. Congratulations to Gongde!

October 2016 In a joint effort with our collaborators at University of Salerno in Italy, we published a paper on ozonation and sonolysis based wastewater advanced treatment in the journal of International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation.

October 2016 Our group is awarded a research grant from Water Research Foundation on the optimization of ultraviolet-based water reuse treatment processes. This project is in collaboration with Orange County Water District. 

October 2016 Our paper on comparative study of the mechanisms of different ultraviolet-based advanced oxidation processes has been accepted by Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. Congratulations to Lucy!

October 2016 Our group's research project on chloramine photolysis for water reuse is highlighted in UCR Today news

September 2016 Our paper on chromium occurrence and its redox transformation in drinking water distribution systems is published in Environmental Science: Water Research &Technology. Congratulations to Michelle and Gongde!

August 2016 Our group received a NSF award to develop efficient potable water reuse technologies. This project will be performed in collaboration with Orange County Water District.

August 2016 Dr. Liu attended the ACS Fall Meeting in Philadelphia and presented at the special symposium in honor of Dr. Alan Stone. He also organized a symposium on disinfection by-products with colleagues from University of Maryland, Clemson University and University of North Carolina.

July 2016 We welcome Fiona Yao as our visiting undergraduate researcher from China University of Geoscience. Fiona will work on metal redox chemistry project during her three-month visit with us.

Jun 2016 We welcome Lupe Lara and Adrianne Barton as undergraduate researchers to our group this summer! Lupe is from La Verne University and Adrianne is from Mississippi State University. This summer undergraduate research is part of our group's two ongoing projects to bring research opportunities to a broader student community.

Jun 2016 Dr. Liu is selected as a Hellman Fellow for 2016-2017 for his research on water reuse treatment. The UCR Hellman Fellows Program awards fellowships to faculty at the rank of assistant professor who exhibit potential for great distinction in their area of expertise.

Apr 2016 Our group receives a research grant from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Southern California World Water Forum College Grant Program. The project is aimed to develop inland concentrate management strategies.

Mar 2016 Dr. Liu gave invited research seminars during his visits to Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and University of Salerno in Italy.

Mar 2016 Dr. Liu co-organized a symposium focused on metals and metalloids at ACS Spring Meeting in San Diego, CA. Graduate student Gongde also gave an oral presentation on hexavalent chromium removal in this symposium.

Mar 2016 Our group received a NSF EAGER award to study redox pathways of metals and their intermediates in water treatment processes using novel electrochemical tools.

Feb 2016 Our group attended the Emerging Contaminant Summit in Denver, CO. Dr. Liu organized and chaired a session on hexavalent chromium issues, Gongde won one of the Best Student Poster Awards. Congratulations!

Jan 2016 Dr. Liu was interviewed by Chemical & Engineering News and discussed lead release in drinking water and metal corrosion in water distribution systems. Read more at C&EN.

Dec 2015 Michelle's paper on hexavalent chromium formation via oxidative pathways in drinking water has been accepted by Environmental Science & Technology

Dec 2015 Our paper on persulfate based groundwater remediation has been accepted by Environmental Science & Technology. Lucy contributed to the identification of degradation products. 

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

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