Jinxia Liu

Associate Professor
Academic title(s): 


Contact Information
Fax number: 
Email address: 
jinxia.liu [at] mcgill.ca

Professor Liu’s expertise lies between environmental engineering and environmental analytical chemistry. The main focus of her research is on elucidation of environmental fate, behaviors and bio-availability of emerging organic contaminants, particularly fluorochemicals. Her research goal is to provide industry, policy- and decision-makers with information to make sound decisions on manufacture, assessment and management of organic chemicals. She is also interested in developing novel materials and treatment processes for removing fluorochemicals from contaminated water, soil and sediment.

Before joining McGill University in 2011, Professor Liu has worked both in industry and academia in the US. Her research projects were funded by the US National Science Foundation, Maryland Water Resource Research Center, municipal water/sewer facilities as well as chemical industry.

Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics

Ph.D., Agronomy/Env Chemistry, Purdue University, USA (2007)
M.E., Env Eng, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA (2002)
M.E., Env Eng,Tianjin University, China (2001)
B.E., Env Eng,Tianjin University, China (1999)

Area of expertise: 
  • Environmental engineering and
  • Environmental analytical chemistry
  • CIVE 290 Thermodynamics & Heat Transfer 3 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 418 Design Project 4 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 651 Theory:Water/Wastewater Trtmnt 4 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

  • CIVE 663 Environ Fate of Org Chemicals 4 Credits
      Offered in the:
    • Fall
    • Winter
    • Summer

Awards, honours, and fellowships: 
  • Outstanding Ph.D. Research, Purdue University (2007)
  • 1st Place in Environmental Entrepreneurship Competition, Purdue Discovery Park (2007)
  • Frederick N. Andrews Environmental Grant, Purdue University (2006)
  • Lynn Fellowship, Purdue University (2003)
  • Master TA Fellow, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2002)
Selected publications: 


  • Liu J. and Mejia Avendano S. (2013) Microbial degradation of polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in the environment: a Review. Environment International, 61, 98-114.


  • Zhao, C., Zhong G., Kim D.-E., Liu J. and Liu X. (2014) A portable lab-on-a-chip system for gold-nanoparticle-based colorimetric detection of metal ions in water. Biomicrofluidics, 8, 052107 (nominated as one of 10 finalists for the Best Paper Award by the AIP journal, Biomicrofluidics in 2014)


  • Zhi Y. and Liu J. (2015) Surface modification of activated carbon for enhanced adsorption of perfluoroalkyl acids from aqueous solutions. Chemosphere, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere. 2015.09.097
  • Munoz, G., Vo Duy, S., Budzinski, H., Labadie, P., Liu, J. and Sauvé, S. (2015). Quantitative analysis of poly- and perfluoroalkyl compounds in water matrices using high resolution mass spectrometry: Optimization for a laser diode thermal desorption method. Analytica Chimica Acta, 881, 98-106.
  • Zhong, G., Liu, J. and Liu, X. (2015). A fast colourimetric assay for lead detection using label-free gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Micromachines, 6(4), 462-472.
  • Zhi Y. and Liu J. (2015) Adsorption of perfluoroalkyl acids onto carbonaceous adsorbents: Effect of carbon surface chemistry.  Environmental Pollution, 202, 168-175
  • Mejia Avendaño, S., Zhong, G. and Liu, J. (2015). Comment on “Biodegradation of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) as an emerging contaminant”. Chemosphere, 138, 1037-1038.
  • Mejia Avendano S. and Liu J. (2015) Production of PFOS from aerobic soil biotransformation of two perfluoroalkyl sulfonamide derivatives. Chemosphere, 119, 1084-1090


  • Munoz, G., Desrosiers, M., Vo Duy, S., Labadie, P., Budzinski, H., Liu, and S. Sauvé, J. (2017) Environmental occurrence of perfluoroalkyl acids and novel fluorotelomer surfactants in the freshwater fish Catostomus commersonii and sediments following firefighting foam deployment at the Lac-Mégantic railway accident. Environmental Science & Technology, 51 (3), pp 1231–1240 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05432
  • Mejia Avendaño, S., Vo Duy, S., Sauvé, S. and Liu, J. (2016) Generation of perfluoroalkyl acids from aerobic biotransformation of quaternary ammonium polyfluoroalkyl surfactants. 50 (18), Environmental Science & Technology, 50(18), 9923–9932, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00140
  • Munoz, G., Duy, S. V., Labadie, P., Botta, F., Budzinski, H., Lestremau, F., Liu, J. and Sauvé, S. (2016). Analysis of zwitterionic, cationic, and anionic poly- and perfluoroalkyl surfactants in sediments by liquid chromatography polarity-switching electrospray ionization coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. Talanta, 152, 447-456, DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.02.021
  • Liu, C. and Liu, J. (2016). Aerobic biotransformation of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs) in soil. Environmental Pollution, 212, 230-237, DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.01.069
  • Zhi, Y. and Liu, J. (2016). Surface modification of activated carbon for enhanced adsorption of perfluoroalkyl acids from aqueous solutions. Chemosphere, 144, 1224-1232, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.09.097


  • Mejia Avendaño, S., Munoz, G., Sauvé, S. and Liu, J. (2017) Assessment of the influence of soil characteristics and hydrocarbon fuel co-contamination on the solvent extraction of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Analytical Chemistry, 89 (4), pp 2539–DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04746
Areas of interest: 
  • Environmental fate and behaviors of legacy and new fluorochemicals
  • Novel biotransformation pathways of polyfluoroalkyl compounds
  • Development of new materials/processes for removal of flurochemicals from contaminated water, soil and sediment
Professional activities: