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UC Doctoral Student Researches Ways to Counter Water Contamination

Xiaodi Duan, environmental engineering, presented research at the American Chemical Society conference.

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

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Xiaodi Duan
Xiaodi Duan in the lab.

Xiaodi Duan, University of Cincinnati environmental engineering doctoral student, presented her research on photochemical degradation of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants from drinking water or wastewater by homogeneous (stable solutions) UV-254-nm based advanced oxidation processes. She presented her research at the American Chemical Society conference Sept. 8-12.

Advance oxidation processes are a set of chemical treatment procedures that remove water toxicants by oxidation through reactions with hydroxyl radicals. Hydroxyl radicals are highly reactive with many pollutants rendering them inactive and harmless, are often short-lived, and are produced during the UV light separation of peroxides.

Hailing from the Inner Mongolian region of China, Duan entered environmental engineering because her home province is drought-ridden and environmental pollution, especially that of water, is severe.

She explains, “Among many things, I wanted to know how to improve water quality using a very limited water source. That’s why I came to UC CEAS—it’s an institution that has garnered a widely respected reputation and has a long history of advancements in engineering.”

Duan received her bachelor’s degree from Tsinghua University in China in 2009 and her master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010. After completing her doctorate, she plans to go back to China to work in academia to further environmental engineering pedagogy.