The research activities of this group may be divided into two broad categories: experimental (laboratory and field-related) projects and numerical modelling.
The following are examples of current experimental studies: development of enzymatic systems for the treatment of industrial wastewaters, disinfection of wastewaters using UV light, development of odour measurement procedures and equipment, production of value-added products from waste materials, microbial degradation of plasticizers, evaluation of rates and extent of mass transfer and biodegradation of pollutants in soil-water environments, assessing bioavailability of pollutants using luminescent biosensors.
Studies involving theoretical and computer modelling include computational fluid dynamics of UV disinfection systems, air pollution dispersion modelling for predicting odour impact, development and calibration of models of enzyme kinetics, and numerical modelling of transport, partitioning and degradation of pollutants in soil and aqueous environments. Such models are developed in concert with experimental studies in the laboratory or field to ensure their validity.
The environmental engineering laboratories are equipped to analyze a wide variety of aqueous chemical and microbiological environmental parameters. Specialized equipment includes atomic absorption, high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, spectrophotometry (UV/vis and fluorescence), scintillation counter, and analyzers for such parameters as total organic carbon, total nitrogen, oxygen demand, toxicity, and particle size distribution, among others. The laboratory is connected to the departmental computer network and allows for computerized data acquisition and control.
- Frigon, F., Biswal, B., Mazza, A., Masson, L. and Gehr, R."Biological and Physicochemical Wastewater Treatment Processes Reduce the Prevalence of Virulent Escherichia coli". Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Published ahead of print, 16 November 2012.
- Navab Daneshmand, T., Beton, B., Hill, R.J., Gehr, R. and Frigon, D.F. Inactivation mechanisms of bacterial pathogen indicators during electro-dewatering of activated sludge biosolids. Water Research, 46, 13, 3999–4008 (2012).
- González, A., Gehr, R., Vaca, M. and López, R. Disinfection of an advanced primary effluent with PAA and UV combined treatment: a continuous-flow pilot plant study. Water Environment Research, 84, 3, 247-253 (2012).
- Charara, N., Cashman, A., Bonnell, R and Gehr, R. Water Use Efficiency in the Hotel Sector of Barbados. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 19, 2, 231 – 245 (2011).
- Hallmich, C. and Gehr, R: Effect of Pre- and Post- UV Disinfection Conditions on Photoreactivation of Fecal Coliforms in Wastewater Effluents. Water Research, 44, 2885-2893 (2010).
- Gehr, R., Chen, D. and Moreau, M. Performic Acid (PFA): Tests on an Advanced Primary Effluent Show Promising Disinfection Performance. Water Science and Technology, 59, 1, 89-96 (2009).
- Ikehata, K. and J.A. Nicell (2000). "Assessment of the products of tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of phenols." Biotechnology Progress, 16:4, 533-540.
- Ghioureliotis, M. and J.A. Nicell (2000). "Toxicity of soluble products from the peroxidase-catalyzed polymerization of substituted phenolic compounds." Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 75, 98-106.
- Ghoshal, S., W.J. Weber Jr., A.M. Rummel, J.E. Trosko, B.L. Upham (1999). "Epigenetic toxicity of a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on gap junctional intercellular communication before and after biodegradation." Environmental Science and Technology, 33 (7): 1044-1050.
- Ghoshal, S., R.G. Luthy (1998). "Biodegradation kinetics of naphthalene in nonaqueous phase liquid-water mixed batch systems: Comparison of model predictions and experimental results." Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 57: 356-366.
- Buchanan, I. "Kinetic modelling of horseradish peroxidase catalyzed phenol removal for reactor development." PhD thesis, September 1996.
- Hill, A. J. "Surfactant solubilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from nonaqueous phase liquids," MEng thesis, October 1999.
- Lu, D.: "The performance and dynamics of fixed-film pressurized tubular bioreactors." PhD thesis, January 1996.
- Pasion, C. "Role of interfacial films in the mass transfer of aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum liquids," MEng thesis, October 2000.
- Tsakaloyannis, M. "Development of a regulatory strategy for odour impact assessment." MEng thesis, May 1997.