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ENVR/WR Seminar: Characterization of Emerging Contaminants in Surface Water Environment, Jejal Bathi, PE


Time to time, vast numbers of new synthetic organic and inorganic compounds are produced for industrial, domestic, or agricultural use. The new chemicals produced eventually release into the environment (air, water, and soil) and ecosystems. Some of those new chemicals, even at trace levels in fresh water, may have adverse human health effects. While polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected in significant quantities in marine sediments, their presence in fresh surface water systems has determined to be at trace levels. Knowledge of PAHs’ affinity for adsorption onto solid particles is key for their control and treatment in the urban surface runoff. We characterized PAHs’ association with particle sizes in urban creek sediments collected from three urban creek locations with varying sediment-contributing drainage area land uses. Overall, most of the sediments were found to be dominant in the particle size range of 90 -710 µm. In general, PAH concentrations were found to be highest in the smallest and largest sediment size fractions at all three sampling locations.

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are characterized by nanoscale dimensions (0 to 100 nm), making it difficult to detect and treat them using classic techniques. Considering an increasing use of ENMs in commercial products, we can expect an increase in an uncontrolled discharge of large quantities of ENMs into our water bodies. Literature now suggests scientific evidence of detectable levels of silver dioxide, zinc dioxide, titanium dioxide, and graphene ENMs in sewage, wastewater, and surface water. This presentation will review an array of modern analytical techniques for quantifying ENMs in pristine and impure waters. A goal of our ongoing research is to develop a treatment train for tracking, treating, and capturing ENMs in surface waters. The presentation will also discuss current understanding of ENM treatment in water infrastructure.


Jejal Bathi,PE is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Civil and Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). Dr. Bathi is a certified professional engineer and has been practicing engineering for about 15 years. Dr. Bathi received his PhD in Civil Engineering with a major in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Alabama (UA) in 2008 and received double MS degrees in Environmental Engineering (National University of Singapore, 2004 and UA, 2007). Dr. Bathi worked on research projects funded by both public and private agencies including National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH). His past academic experiences include a Post-Doctorial at UA and work as a Research Scientist at Jackson State University, MS. Dr. Bathi has also developed and taught courses in environmental and water resources engineering. His areas of expertise include: (1) urban runoff characterization, (2) understanding the fate and transport of emerging contaminants in surface water environment, (3) application of distributed and lumped simulation programs to understand sensitivity of water resources for changing land uses and weather patterns, and (4) application of green infrastructure for urban drainage and water quality management. Current ongoing research includes land use specific characterization, as well as treatability and fate and transport analysis of Engineered Nanomaterial.

Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 3:40pm to 5:00pm

John D. Tickle Engineering Building, 410
851 Neyland Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff, General Public


CEE Seminar, CEE Fall 2018


Civil and Environmental Engineering

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