McCurry's Group


Haotian Cai

McCurry Research Group

BS – Environmental Science (2019), Anhui University
BS — Environmental Health (2019), Colorado State University
MS – Environmental Engineering (2021), Northwestern University

Saturated hydrocarbons amine chlorination to nitroalkanes

Due to water resource scarcity, water reuse become a hot topic. Water reuse involves the disinfection of water containing organic nitrogen, which forms DBPs. Previous studies show the high toxicity of N-DBPs, which are not regulated yet. Although the ozonation of amines to nitro compounds is observed, the chlorination process is unknown. This project focuses on the direct observation and mechanism of chlorination of amines to nitro compounds.

Headshot Schammel (1)

Marella Schammel

McCurry Research Group

BS – Chemistry (2020), Towson University

MS – Environmental Engineering (2022), University of Southern California

Development of a new mass spectrometry-based total organic chlorine analytical method to assess the safety of the UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process

Advanced oxidation processes are an important step in removal of trace organic contaminants during water treatment. UV/chlorine is one such method recently implemented, however the potential of this method to method to produce unknown chlorinated byproducts has not yet been evaluated (as focus has primarily been on regulated and monitored byproducts). We hypothesize that the chlorine radical produced during UV/chlorination incorporates into the bulk dissolved organic matter. forming chlorinated byproducts. To measure bulk chlorine incorporation, an analytical method to measure total organic chlorine (TOCl) will be developed. While methods to measure TOCl exist, they are typically labor intensive and result in poor detection limits. This work seeks to develop a TOCl method using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) that requires minimal sample preparation and yields low detection limits to evaluate the incorporation of chlorine into bulk DOM (and therefore production of unknown chlorinated byproducts) during UV/chlorination.

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Xiao Yang

McCurry Research Group

BEng – Water Supply and Drainage Engineering (2022), Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Using probe compounds to measure aldehyde’s reaction constants with •OH and Cl• under UV light

In this study, Xiao utilizes competition kinetics theory to determine reaction rate constants of aldehydes with •OH and Cl•, respectively. Since aldehydes will be of increasing importance as regulation potable reuse gains more legislative and industrial attention. This project aims to assess chlorine-UV system’s potency in degrading different aldehydes, which will be regulated in the future. Also, Xiao hopes to acquire valuable rate constants that are irreplaceable for reactor design of treatment plants which need to meet future regulatory standards.