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UC Doctoral Student Presents Research on Removing Toxins from Drinking Water


Xuexiang He, environmental engineering doctoral candidate, recently presented her research on the removal of cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water resources.

Date: 9/12/2013 2:00:00 PM
By: Desiré Bennett
Other Contact: Arthur Davies
Other Contact Phone: (513) 556-9181

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Xuexiang He
Environmental engineering doctoral candidate Xuexiang He.

Xuexiang He, University of Cincinnati environmental engineering doctoral candidate, presented her research on the removal of cyanobacterial toxins from drinking water resources at the American Chemical Society conference Sept. 8-12.

According to He, the occurrence of cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in drinking water resources has become a significant threat to public health during the past few years. “With the significantly high toxicity of the chemicals potentially produced, microcystins and cylindrospermopsin for example, an algal bloom is a worldwide problem.”

He’s presentation, “Degradation Mechanisms During the Removal of the Emerging Cyanobacterial Toxin Cylindrospermopsin by Advanced Oxidation,” will focus on both the kinetic (how fast the contaminant will be removed) and mechanistic (whether the compound could be destructed as to reduce its toxicity) aspects of the research.

“My current approach of study is to minimize potential human health risk by AOPs in drinking water treatment plants in case of an algal bloom event in drinking water resources,” said He. “The study is still at the laboratory scale, but I believe an understanding of the fundamental principles will help with the treatment of these pollutants in the real world.”

He completed her undergraduate studies in environmental science at Nanjing University in China and joined the University of Cincinnati in 2007 to find solutions to water-contamination problems.

“UC is traditionally a top research university in environmental engineering, not only with a comprehensive education in the principles of environmental science, environmental engineering, chemistry and sustainable management, but also with advanced research facilities,” He said. “I believe that I’ve had the opportunity to further develop myself into a water quality professional here at UC, and I would like to continue to find solutions to complex water quality problems.”