Zhen (Jason) He

Zhen (Jason) He
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | VT · Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

PhD

About

186
Publications
62,568
Reads
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14,925
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2013 - present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
August 2009 - August 2013
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
September 2003 - July 2007
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering
September 2001 - July 2003
Technical University of Denmark
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering
September 1996 - July 2000
Tongji University
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering

Publications

Publications (186)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose An osmotic microbial fuel cell (OsMFC) is derived from the integration of a forward osmosis (FO) membrane into a conventional microbial fuel cell (MFC), with enhanced performance in bioelectricity generation from organic matter and recovery of high-quality water. The environmental impacts of this newly developed technology, however, have no...
Article
Activated persulfate (PS) oxidation is promising for contaminant removal but a lack of controllable activation can lead to a loss of reagents and thus low contamination degradation. Herein, we have proposed and investigated an innovative method to control PS activation by introducing ion exchange membrane into electrochemically activated PS. This e...
Article
Because of the production of chlorine species in leachate during Fenton's oxidation, harmful disinfection byproducts (DBP) can be formed but this has not been well studied before. Herein, we have investigated five classes of DBP: trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, haloacetonitriles, haloketones, and halonitromethanes during Fenton's oxidation of la...
Article
Full-text available
Forward osmosis (FO) has emerged as a promising membrane technology to yield high-quality reusable water from various water sources. A key challenge to be solved is the bidirectional solute flux (BSF), including reverse solute flux (RSF) and forward solute flux (FSF). Herein, zwitterion functionalized carbon nanotubes (Z-CNTs) have been coated onto...
Article
The cover image is based on the Research Article Examination of inorganic‐based draw solutes and mitigation of their reverse solute flux in osmotic microbial fuel cells by Simiao Wu et al., DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5794.
Article
Labaneh whey (LW) that is rich in residual organics was evaluated for bioelectricity generation using microbial fuel cell (MFC) in two different configurations namely single chamber (MFC-SC) and dual chamber (MFC-DC) MFCs. The whole study was executed in three stages: The first stage evidenced promising amount of bioelectricity generation (DC, 643...
Article
Nitritation‐anammox treatment can be a potentially energy‐ and resource‐efficient technology for treating mainstream wastewater. However, the issue of nitrate residue from anammox treatment remains to be addressed. Herein, external recirculation of the anammox effluent to a hybrid anaerobic reactor (HAR), which was also to provide a continuous flow...
Article
Full-text available
Bioelectrochemical systems (BESs) are developed to transform the energy harvested from the biomass into electricity. Different types of BESs including microbial fuel cell (MFC), microbial electrolysis cell (MEC), and microbial desalination cell (MDC) are under intensive research and development; however, their life cycle environmental impacts have...
Article
Maintaining low concentrations of nitrogen compounds in aquaculture water is a key requirement for a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), due to the potential detrimental effects of ammonia or nitrate on fish growth and metabolic activities. Herein, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated to accomplish the removal of either nitrate or ammon...
Article
Applications of Fenton's oxidation of landfill leachate is limited by both high reagent requirements and a large amount of sludge generation. To address those issues, forward osmosis (FO) and humic acid (HA) recovery were incorporated with Fenton's treatment. In the FO, leachate was concentrated by 3.2 times in 10 hours using a 5-M NaCl draw soluti...
Article
Azo dyes and their decolorized products are toxic and persistent to biodegradation, but must be properly removed before dye wastewater being discharged to a water body. In this study, a bioelectrochemical system (BES) combined with a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) has been investigated for removing azo dye and its reduction products. Acid orange 7...
Article
Forward osmosis (FO) has emerged as a potentially energy-efficient membrane treatment technology to yield high-quality reusable water from various wastewater/saline water sources. A key challenge remained to be solved for FO is reverse solute flux (RSF), which can cause issues like reduced concentration gradient and loss of draw solutes. Yet no uni...
Article
Osmotic microbial fuel cells (OsMFCs) combine the merits of microbial fuel cell (MFC) and forward osmosis (FO) for simultaneous contaminant removal, electricity generation, and high-quality water extraction. As an FO based technology, reverse solute flux (RSF) is one of the key challenges for its operation. Herein, RSF was converted into a positive...
Article
Nitrate contamination of groundwater is a mounting concern for drinking water production due to its healthy and ecological effects. Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) are a promising method for energy efficient nitrate removal , but its energy consumption has not been well understood. Herein, we conducted a preliminary analysis of energy consumption...
Article
The thermal energy represents a significant portion of energy potential in municipal wastewater and may be recovered as electricity by a thermoelectric generator (TEG). Converting heat to all-purpose electricity by TEG has been demonstrated with large heat gradients, but its application in waste heat recovery from wastewater has not been well evalu...
Article
BACKGROUND Osmotic microbial fuel cells (OsMFCs) integrate microbial fuel cell (MFC) and forward osmosis (FO) and can simultaneously achieve wastewater treatment, electricity generation, and water recovery. The selection of appropriate draw solutes (DS) and reduction of reverse solute flux (RSF) are the key challenges for OsMFC operation. This stud...
Article
Landfill leachate contains extremely diverse mixtures of pollutants and thus requires appropriate treatment before discharge. Co-treatment of landfill leachate with sewage in wastewater treatment plants is a common approach because of low cost and convenience. However, some recalcitrant organic compounds in leachate can escape biological treatment...
Article
Microbial desalination cells (MDCs), with bifunctional capacity to simultaneously treat wastewater and desalinate seawater at low energy consumption, have attracted great attention in recent years. However, the environmental impacts of the MDC technology have not been studied or well understood. To understand and eventually reduce the environmental...
Article
A key challenge for osmotic membrane bioreactors (OMBRs) application is reverse solute flux and consequent salt accumulation in the feed side. Herein, a bioelectrochemical system (BES) was employed to drive reverse-fluxed solutes from the feed of an OMBR into a cathode compartment for recovery and subsequent reuse as a draw solute (DS). Compared to...
Article
Ammonia recovery using microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) is of great interest due to potentially high energy efficiency. However, separating the recovered ammonia from MEC catholyte demands energy input via gas stripping or solution mixing. In this study, a passive separation method has been investigated to greatly reduce energy input for ammonia...
Article
In this work, a microbial desalination cell (MDC) was employed to desalinate the FO treated leachate for reduction of both salinity and chemical oxygen demand (COD). The FO recovered 51.5% water from a raw leachate and the recovery increased to 83.5% from the concentrated leachate after desalination in the MDC fed with either acetate or another lea...
Article
Electrochemically active anodic biofilm that has adapted under mild applied potentials in the range 100-500 mV was evaluated for its improved bioelectrogenesis and bioelectrochemical treatment of petroleum refinery wastewater (PRW) in a single chamber air cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC). MFC operation with 500 mV as supplemental voltage has exhib...
Article
Abstract Landfill leachate contains substances that can be potentially recovered as valuable resources. In this study, magnesium in a landfill leachate was recovered as struvite with calcium pretreatment; meanwhile, the leachate volume was reduced by using a submerged forward osmosis (FO) process, thereby enabling significant reduction of further t...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) can accomplish simultaneous wastewater treatment and resource recovery via interactions between microbes and electrodes. Often deemed as “energy efficient” technologies, BES have not been well evaluated for their energy performance, such as energy production and consumption. In this work, we have conducted a concise...
Article
Forward osmosis (FO) technology has long been constrained by the slow development of appropriate draw solutes (DS) and the relatively high cost associated with DS recovery. In this study, a series of polyelectrolytes, polyacrylic acid sodium salts (PAA-Na) with different molecular weights, were explored as DS for FO applications with a focus on the...
Article
Biohythane is a renewable energy fuel composed of methane and hydrogen gas at a certain ratio. Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) have been employed to produce biohythane but the composition of the produced gas is not well controlled. Herein, an innovative MEC system was developed at a large scale of 19 L to investigate biohythane production affec...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of UV quenching compounds in landfill leachate can negatively affect UV disinfection in a wastewater treatment plant when leachate is co-treated. Herein, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) was investigated to remove UV quenchers from a landfill leachate with simultaneous bioelectricity generation. The key operating parameters including hydrau...
Article
The emulsified behaviors in the process of preparing methanol-diesel emulsified fuel are investigated by the application of an impinging stream-rotating packed bed (IS-RPB). The emulsified processes are composed of the combinations of initial emulsification of impinging stream process, intensified emulsification of IS-RPB and perfect emulsification...
Article
Landfill leachate can introduce compounds that absorb ultraviolet (UV) light and thus affect UV disinfection efficiency at municipal wastewater treatment plants when leachate is co-treated. Thus, UV quenchers should be removed or reduced before leachate is sent to a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Herein, a chemical oxidant, sodium percarbona...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial desalination cells (MDCs) are an emerging concept for simultaneous water/wastewater treatment and energy recovery. The key to developing MDCs is to understand fundamental problems, such as the effects of salinity on system performance and the role of microbial community and functional dynamics. Herein, a tubular MDC was operated under a w...
Article
Osmotic microbial fuel cells (OsMFCs) take advantages of synergy between forward osmosis (FO) and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for simultaneous wastewater treatment, bioenergy production, and water recovery. A unique feature for healthy operation of OsMFCs is an appropriate draw solute (DS) that can also act as a catholyte. Herein, polyelectrolytes...
Article
Vanadium (V) pollution in groundwater has posed serious risks to the environment and public health. Anaerobic microbial reduction can achieve efficient and cost-effective remediation of V(V) pollution, but its interactions with coexisting common electron acceptors such as NO3(-), Fe(3+), SO4(2-) and CO2 in groundwater remain unknown. In this study,...
Article
Cylindrical graphite microbial fuel cell (MFC) configuration designed by eliminating distinct casing and membrane was evaluated for bioelectrogenesis and treatment of real-field wastewaters. Both petroleum refinery wastewater (PRW) and Labanah whey wastewater (LW) were used as substrates, and investigated for electricity generation and organic remo...
Article
Mainstream nitritation-anammox is of strong interest to energy- and resource-efficient domestic wastewater treatment. However, there lack in-depth studies of pretreatment, tests of actual wastewater, and examination of long-term performance. Herein, an upflow nitritation-anammox granular reactor has been investigated to treat primary effluent with...
Article
Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) can recover ammonia from wastewater driven by electricity generation. However, energy consumption of such an approach has not been well evaluated. In this study, the effects of several key operating factors including catholyte aeration rate, external voltage, and external resistance on both ammonia recovery and ener...
Article
Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) are a promising approach for producing hydrogen gas from low-grade substrates with low energy consumption. However, pH increase in a cathode due to proton reduction and thus the need for buffering this pH increase remains a challenge for MEC operation. In this study, a previously reported operational strategy for...
Article
An impinging stream-rotating packed bed system is investigated. Simultaneous NZVI synthesis and nitrobenzene degradation are achieved. Higher liquid flow rate and initial reactant concentrations improve degradation. Fe 2+ is a preferable iron source due to a relatively larger pH application range. The dosage of iron can be greatly reduced by high g...
Article
Successful pH control plays a key role in hydrogen production in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). Herein, periodic polarity reversal (PPR) is applied to a dual-cathode MEC and achieves the enhanced hydrogen production. The MEC with PPR produces 1.3 ± 0.1 m³ H2 m⁻³d⁻¹ with 50-mM NaCl as the catholyte, much higher than 0.9 ± 0.1 m³ H2 m⁻³d⁻¹ from...
Article
Recovering useful resources from wastes represents a new approach of clean production with significant environmental and economic benefits. Ammonium nitrogen, which is an important inorganic contaminant and also a resource for fertilizer, can be removed and recovered from wastewater. As the first step of recovery, ammonium removal was successfully...
Article
Recovery of nutrients, water, and energy from high-strength sidestream centrate offers benefits such as reusable resource, minimized discharge and cost-savings in mainstream treatment. Herein, a microbial electrolysis cell - forward osmosis (MEC-FO) hybrid system has been investigated for integrated nutrient-energy-water (NEW) recovery with emphasi...
Article
Abstract Forward osmosis (FO) is an alternative approach for treating landfill leachate with potential advantages of reducing leachate volume and recovering high quality water for direct discharge or reuse. However, energy consumption by FO treatment of leachate has not been examined before. Herein, the operational factors such as recirculation rat...
Article
Mathematical modeling is an important tool to investigate the performance of microbial fuel cell (MFC) towards its optimized design. To overcome the shortcoming of traditional MFC models, an ensemble model is developed through integrating both engineering model and statistical analytics for the extrapolation scenarios in this study. Such an ensembl...
Article
Osmotic microbial fuel cells (OsMFCs) take advantages of synergy between forward osmosis (FO) and microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to accomplish wastewater treatment, current generation, and high-quality water extraction. As an FO based technology, OsMFCs also encounter reverse salt flux (RSF) that is the backward transport of salt ions across the FO me...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and membrane photobioreactors are two emerging technologies for simultaneous wastewater treatment and bioenergy production. In this study, those two technologies were coupled to form an integrated treatment system, whose performance was examined under different operating conditions. The coupled system could achieve 92–97...
Article
Boron needs to be removed during desalination, because excessive boron in the product water for irrigation can deteriorate plant growth. In this study, a microbial fuel cell (MFC) equipped with anion exchange membrane (AEM) was proposed and investigated to remove boron via two successive steps: boric acid is ionized to borate ions in the presence o...
Article
Electrode material is a key component in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), and exploring cost-effective electrode materials will greatly help with MFC development, especially the scaling up. In this study, a commercially available material – nickel-coated carbon fiber (Ni-CF) has been investigated as an alternative cathode electrode material to carbon c...
Article
Using liquid fertilizer as a draw solute in forward osmosis (FO) to extract high-quality water from wastewater is of strong interest because it eliminates the need for regenerating draw solute, thereby requiring less energy input to system operation. However, energy consumption of such an approach has not been evaluated before. Herein, a submerged...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial desalination cells (MDCs) have been studied for contaminant removal from wastewater and salinity reduction in saline water. However, in an MDC wastewater treatment and desalination occurs in different streams, and high salinity of the treated wastewater creates challenges for wastewater reuse. Herein, a single-stream MDC (SMDC) with four...
Article
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a widely used photocatalyst that has been demonstrated for microorganism disinfection in drinking water. In this study, a new material with a novel structure, silver and copper loaded TiO2 nanowire membrane (Cu-Ag-TiO2) was prepared and evaluated for its efficiency to inactivate E. coli and bacteriophage MS2. Enhanced pho...
Article
A membrane bioelectrochemical reactor (MBER) is a system integrating membrane filtration into microbial fuel cells. To control membrane fouling, fluidized granular activated carbon (GAC) was applied to the cathodic compartment of an MBER, which was examined for contaminant removal and electricity generation with low or medium strength synthetic was...
Article
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) as an energy-efficient wastewater treatment technology have attracted increasing interest in the past decade. The cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) present the major challenge for the practical applications of MFCs. An ideal cathode catalyst should be scalable, durable, and cost effective. A variety o...
Article
Using fertilizers as draw solutes in forward osmosis (FO) can accomplish wastewater reuse with elimination of recycling draw solute. In this study, three commercial fast-release all-purpose solid fertilizers (F1, F2 and F3) were examined as draw solutes in a submerged FO system for water extraction from either deionized (DI) water or the treated wa...
Article
Petroleum refinery wastewater (PRW) contains a high concentration of pollutants and may pose serious environmental risks. Conventional treatment methods of PRW are energy intensive, and thus there is an urgent need to develop sustainable technologies. Microbial desalination cells (MDCs) represent a new energy-efficient technology for simultaneous t...
Article
Full-text available
We report an integrated experimental and simulation study of ammonia recovery using microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). The transport of various species during the batch-mode operation of an MEC was examined experimentally and the results were used to validate the mathematical model for such an operation. It was found that, while the generated ele...
Article
Full-text available
Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a promising technology for direct electricity generation from organics by microorganisms. The type of electron donors fed into MFCs affects the electrical performance, and mechanistic understanding of such effects is important to optimize the MFC performance. In this study, we used a model organism in MFCs, Shewanella o...
Article
Cost-effective catalysts are of key importance to the successful deployment of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for electricity generation from organic wastes. Herein, a novel catalyst prepared by one-step synthesis strategy is reported. The catalyst features N-doped bamboo-like carbon nanotube (BCNT) in which CoNi-alloy is encapsulated at the end and/o...
Article
A novel osmotic anammox (OsAMX) system coupling nitritation-anammox with forward osmosis (FO) has been developed for removal of reverse-fluxed ammonium when using NH4HCO3 as a draw solute. In this study, long-term performance and microbial community structure were investigated. The nitritation-anammox reactor maintained an ammonium concentration of...
Article
Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are considered as an emerging concept for sustainable wastewater treatment with energy recovery. The anode of an MFC plays a key role in conversion of organic compounds to electricity, and thus understanding the multiphysics within the anodic compartment will be helpful with MFC optimization and scaling-up. In this study...