Yang Liu, PhD, PEng

Yang LiuAssociate Professor, Environmental Engineering 

Office: 7-263 Donadeo Innovation Cntr for Engineering 
Phone: 780 492 5115
E-mail: yang.liu@ualberta.ca
Website: http://www.ualberta.ca/~liu14/

Research Interests

Dr. Yang Liu’s research interests are centered in energy and nutrient recovery from municipal and industrial wastewater.  She studies the basics of biofilm and granular sludge formation processes, and microbial population dynamics in environmental systems, and their applications in bioreactors for industrial wastewater treatment, and centralized and decentralized municipal wastewater treatment.  Specific research activities are:

  • Main stream and side stream municipal wastewater nutrient reduction
  • Decentralized wastewater treatment and resource recovery
  • Bioreactor treatment of oil sands process affected water
  • Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation
  • Fate and transport of bio-colloids in porous media

Research Currently in Progress

  • Energy and nutrient recovery from municipal wastewater
  • Source-diverted blackwater treatment using anaerobic processes
  • Side stream ammonia removal using nitriation and anammox processes 
  • Biological nutrient removal using biofilm processes 
  • Oil sands tailings treatment
  • Cellulose nanocrystal hydrogel for biofilm inhibition 
  • Cryptosporidium oocyst removal in drinking water direct filtration processes  

Education

  • Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering (Minor: Biology); University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2007
  • M.S. in Environmental Engineering; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2003
  • B.Sc in Environmental Engineering; Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2001

Professional Experience

  • 2014 to present, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.
  • 2008 to present; Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.
  • 2008: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University.
  • 2008: Research Associate, Department of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Selected Refereed Journal Publications

  1. Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M. (2017) Dynamics of naphthenic acids and microbial community structures in a membrane bioreactor treating oil sands process-affected water: impacts of supplemented inorganic nitrogen and hydraulic retention time. RSC Advances. 7, 17670-17681.
  2. Zhang, Q.; Bolton, J.; Davies, E.; Liu, Y. Monochloramine loss mechanisms in tap water (2017). Water Environment Research.  doi: 10.2175/106143017X14902968254421
  3. Huang, C.; Shi, Y.; Sheng, Z.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2017) Characterization of microbial communities during start-up of integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) systems for the treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Biochemical Engineering Journal. DOI: 10.1016/j.bej.2017.03.003.
  4. Sheng, Z.; Liu, Y. (2017) Potential impacts of silver nanoparticles on bacteria in the aquatic environment. Journal of Environmental Management. 191, 290–296. 
  5. Huang, C.; Shi, Y.; Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2017) Comparison of biomass from integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS), moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating recalcitrant organics: importance of attached biomass. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 326, 120-129. 
  6. Zhang, H.; Seaman, J.; Wang, Y.; Zeng, H.; Narain, R.; Ulrich, A.; Liu, Y. (2016) Filtration of glycoprotein-modified carboxylated polystyrene microspheres as Cryptosporidium oocysts surrogates: Effects of flow rate, alum, and humic acid. Journal of Environmental Engineering. DOI:10.1061/ (ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001201.
  7. Shao, Y.; Shi, Y.; Mohamed, A.; Liu, Y. (2016) Wastewater ammonia removal using an integrated fixed-film activated sludge-sequencing batch biofilm reactor (IFAS-SBR): comparison of suspended flocs and attached biofilm. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. DOI: 10.1016/j.ibiod. 2016.09.026. 
  8. Huang, C.; Shi, Y.; Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2017) Comparison of biomass from integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS), moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) treating recalcitrant organics: importance of attached biomass. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 326, 120-129.
  9. Wang, Y.; Li, L.; Kotsuchibashi, Y.; Vshyvenko, S.; Liu, Y.; Hall, D.; Zeng, H.; Narain, R. (2016) Self-healing and injectable shear thinning hydrogels based on dynamic oxaborole-diol covalent crosslinking. ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, 2, 2315-2323.
  10. Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M. (2016) Effects of ozone pretreatment and operating conditions on membrane fouling behaviors of an anoxic-aerobic membrane bioreactor for oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) treatment.  Water Research, 105, 444-455.
  11. Huang, C.; Zeng, P.; Yang, S.; Shao, Y.; Liu, Y.  (2016) Water Reclamation and Reuse. Water Environment Research, 83 (10), 1439-1466. 
  12. Lu, Q.; Yan, B; Xie, L.; Huang, J.; Liu, Y.; Zeng, H. (2016) A Two-step flocculation process on oil sands tailings treatment using oppositely charged polymer flocculants. Science of the Total Environment, 565, 369-375.
  13. Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M. (2016) Treatment of raw and ozonated oil sands process-affected water under decoupled anoxic denitrifying and aerobic nitrifying conditions: a comparative study. Biodegradation, 27(4-6), 247-264.
  14. Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M. Treatment of raw and ozonated oil sands process-affected water under decoupled anoxic denitrifying and aerobic nitrifying conditions: a comparative study. Biodegradation, 27(4-6), 247-264.
  15. Huang, C.; Shi, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2016) Optimization of ozonation combined with integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) in the treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 112, 31–41.
  16. Bhaduri, S.; Debnath, N.; Mitra, S.; Liu, Y.; Kumar, A. (2016) Microbiologically induced calcite precipitation mediated by Sporosarcina pasteurii. Journal of Visualized Experiments. (110), e53253, doi:10.3791/53253.
  17. Liu, H.; Tan, S.Y.; Yu, T.; Liu, Y. (2016) Sulfate reducing bacterial community and in situ activity in mature fine tailings analyzed by real time qPCR and microsensor, Journal of Environmental Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.jes.2015.08.025.
  18. Zhang, H.X.; Ulrich, A.; Liu, Y. (2016) Comparison of the transport and deposition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Water Resources Research. 52 (2), 1127–1139.
  19. Sheng, Z.; Mohammed, A.; Liu, Y. (2016) Stability of full-scale engineered ecosystem under disturbance: response of an activated sludge biological nutrient removal reactor to high flow rate condition. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 109, 88–95.
  20. Jiang, Y.; Liang, J.; Liu, Y. (2016) Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.  Water Science and Technology. 73(8), 1809-1816. 
  21. Xue, J.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din. (2016) Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using a membrane bioreactor with a submerged flat-sheet ceramic microfiltration membrane. Water Research. 88, 1-11.
  22. Islam, S.; Zhang, Y.; McPhedrana, K.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din. (2016) Mechanistic investigation of industrial wastewater naphthenic acids removal using granular activated carbon (GAC) biofilm based processes, Science of the Total Environment. 541, 238-246.
  23. Sun, X.; Shao, Y.; Boluk, Y.; Liu, Y. (2015) The impact of cellulose nanocrystals on the aggregation and initial adhesion to a solid surface of Escherichia coli K12: role of solution chemistry. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 136, 570–576.
  24. Huang, C.; Shi, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y.  (2015) Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using ozonation combined with integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS). Water Research. 85, 167–176.
  25. Ku, J.; Liang, J.; Ulrich, A.; Liu, Y. (2015) Sulphide production and management in municipal stormwater retention ponds. Journal of Environmental Engineering. 142 (2), 04015071, 1-8.
  26. Liu, H.; Yu, T.; Liu, Y. (2015) Community and activity of sulfate reducing bacteria in oil sands process-affected water biofilm, Science of the Total Environment. 536, 116–122.
  27. Hassanpourfard, M., Nikakhtari, Z., Ghosh, R., Das, S., Thundat, T., Liu, Y., Kumar A. (2015) Bacterial floc mediated rapid streamer formation in creeping flows. Scientific Reports, 5:13070.
  28. Sheng, Z.; Van Nostrand, J.; Zhou, J.; Liu, Y. (2015) The effects of silver nanoparticles on intact wastewater biofilms. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6, 680, 1-11.
  29. Liang, J.; Deng, L.; Liu, Y. (2015) MFT Mature fine tailings consolidation through microbial induced calcium carbonate precipitation. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. 42(11), 975-978.
  30. Shi, Y.; Sheng, Z.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2015) Treatment of oil sands process-affected water using MBBR: with and without ozone pretreatment. Bioresource Technology. 192, 219-227.
  31. Qin, J.; Sun, X.; Liu, Y.; Berthold, T.; Harms, H.; Wick, L. (2015) Electrokinetic control of bacterial deposition and transport.  Environmental Science & Technology. 49 (9), 5663–5671.
  32. Zhang,H.;Ulrich,A.;Liu,Y.(2015) Retention and transport of an anaerobic trichloroethene dechlorinat ing microbial culture in anaerobic porous media. Colloids and Surfaces B:Biointerfaces.130,110-118.
  33. Mhadavi,H.; Liu, Y.; Ulrich, A.(2015) In situ biodegradation of naphthenic acids in oil sands tailings pond water using indigenous algae-bacteria consortium. Bioresource Technology. 187, 97-105. 
  34. Islam, S.; Zhang, Z.; McPhedran, K.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.  (2015) Analysis of oil sands microbial biofilm communities developed on granular activated carbon using next-generation pyrosequencing.  Applied Environmental Microbiology.  81(12), 4037-4048.
  35. Islam, S.; Zhang, Y.; McPhedran, K.; Liu, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M. (2015) Granular activated carbon for simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation of toxic oil sands process-affected water organic compounds. Journal of Environmental Management. 152, 49-57.
  36. Wang, YN.; Kotsuchibashi, Y.; Liu, Y.; Narain, R. (2015) Study of bacterial adhesion on biomimetic temperature responsive glycopolymer surfaces. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 7(3),1652-1661.
  37. Dong, T.; Zhang, Y.; Gamal El-Din, M.; Liu, Y. (2015) The impact of various ozone pretreatment doses on the performance of endogenous microbial communities for the remediation of oil sands process-affected water.  International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation. 100, 17-28. 
  38. Liu, H.; Tan, S. Y.; Sheng, Z.; Yu, T.; Liu, Y. (2015) Impact of oxygen on the co-existence of nitrification, denitrification, and sulfate reduction in oxygen based membrane aerated biofilm. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 61(3), 237-242.
  39. Wang, YN, Kotsuchibashi, Y.; Uto, K.; Ebara, M.; Aoyagi, T.; Liu, Y.; Narain R. (2015) pH and Glucose Responsive nanofibers for the reversible capture and release of lectins. Biomaterials Science. 3 (1), 152-162.