Professor Meagan Mauter is appointed as an Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and as a Center Fellow, by courtesy, in the Woods Institute for the Environment. She directs the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment Lab (WE3Lab) with the mission of providing sustainable water supply in a carbon-constrained world through innovation in water treatment technology, optimization of water management practices, and redesign of water policies. Ongoing research efforts include: 1) developing automated, precise, robust, intensified, modular, and electrified (A-PRIME) water desalination technologies to support a circular water economy, 2) identifying synergies and addressing barriers to coordinated operation of decarbonized water and energy systems, and 3) supporting the design and enforcement of water-energy policies.

Professor Mauter also serves as the research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a $110-million DOE Energy-Water Desalination Hub addressing water security issues in the United States. The Hub targets early-stage research and development of energy-efficient and cost-competitive technologies for desalinating non-traditional source waters.

Professor Mauter holds bachelors degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering and History from Rice University, a Masters of Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Yale University. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, she served as an Energy Technology Innovation Policy Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Mossavar Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and as an Associate Professor of Engineering & Public Policy, Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Research Director, National Alliance for Water Innovation (2018 - Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Lectureship Award, American Chemical Society (2021)
  • Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, American Society of Civil Engineers (2021)
  • Outstanding Reviewer, Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology (2018)
  • Awardee, James J. Morgan Environmental Science & Technology Early Career Award Lectureship (2017)
  • Co-Organizer and Participant, German American Frontierse of Engineering Symposium (2017)
  • Participant, Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2017)
  • Recipient, Dean of Engineering Early Career Fellow (2017)
  • Participant and Speaker, US-EU Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (2016)
  • Recipient, NSF CAREER Award, Environmental Engineering (2016)
  • Recipient, ASCE ExCEEd Teaching Fellowship Award (2016)
  • Recipient, George Tallman Ladd Research Award (2016)
  • Recipient, North American Membrane Society (NAMS) Young Membrane Scientist Award (2015)
  • Participant, National Academy of Engineering, Frontiers of Engineering Symposium (2012)
  • Recipient, AWWA Academic Achieve Award, 1st Place Doctoral Dissertation (2012)
  • Recipient with Honorable Mention, AEESP Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (2012)
  • Fellow, NSF Science Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES) (2011-2012)
  • Recipient, AWWA Abel Wolman Fellowship (2009-2011)
  • Recipient, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2006-2009)
  • Recipient, US EPA GRO Fellowship (2004-2006)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Editorial Advisory Board, Environmental Science & Technology Letters (2020 - Present)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, ACS ES&T Engineering (2020 - Present)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering (2018 - Present)
  • Co-Chair, North American Membrane Society Annual Meeting (2017 - 2019)
  • Advisory Board Member, Advanced Sustainable Systems (2016 - Present)
  • Editor, Sustainable Production and Consumption (2016 - Present)
  • Early Career Advisory Board Member, ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering (2016 - 2018)

Professional Education

  • PhD, Yale University, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (2011)
  • MS and M. Phil, Yale University, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (2007)
  • MEE, Rice University, Environmental Engineering (2006)
  • BS, Rice University, Civil & Environmental Engineering (2006)
  • BA, Rice University, History (2006)

Stanford Advisees

  • Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
    Jose Bolorinos, Erin Musabandesu, Laxmicharan Samineni
  • Doctoral Dissertation Advisor (AC)
    Fletcher Chapin, Akshay Rao, Carson Tucker, Corisa Wong
  • Master's Program Advisor
    Rachel Merrifield, Chidanand Patel
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Sinan Abi Farraj, Caroline Adkins, Fletcher Chapin, Akshay Rao, Corisa Wong

All Publications

  • Quantifying the Value of Technology and Policy Innovation in Water Resource Portfolios EARTHS FUTURE Zaniolo, M., Fletcher, S., Mauter, M. S. 2024; 12 (5)
  • Electricity and natural gas tariffs at United States wastewater treatment plants. Scientific data Chapin, F. T., Bolorinos, J., Mauter, M. S. 2024; 11 (1): 113


    Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are large electricity and natural gas consumers with untapped potential to recover carbon-neutral biogas and provide energy services for the grid. Techno-economic analysis of emerging energy recovery and management technologies is critical to understanding their commercial viability, but quantifying their energy cost savings potential is stymied by a lack of well curated, nationally representative electricity and natural gas tariff data. We present a dataset of electricity tariffs for the 100 largest WWTPs in the Clean Watershed Needs Survey (CWNS) and natural gas tariffs for the 54 of 100 WWTPs with on-site cogeneration. We manually collected tariffs from each utility's website and implemented data checks to ensure their validity. The dataset includes facility metadata, electricity tariffs, and natural gas tariffs (where cogeneration is present). Tariffs are current as of November 2021. We provide code for technical validation along with a sample simulation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41597-023-02886-6

    View details for PubMedID 38263407

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10805726

  • The Future of Municipal Wastewater Reuse Concentrate Management: Drivers, Challenges, and Opportunities. Environmental science & technology Finnerty, C. T., Childress, A. E., Hardy, K. M., Hoek, E. M., Mauter, M. S., Plumlee, M. H., Rose, J. B., Sobsey, M. D., Westerhoff, P., Alvarez, P. J., Elimelech, M. 2024; 58 (1): 3-16


    Water reuse is rapidly becoming an integral feature of resilient water systems, where municipal wastewater undergoes advanced treatment, typically involving a sequence of ultrafiltration (UF), reverse osmosis (RO), and an advanced oxidation process (AOP). When RO is used, a concentrated waste stream is produced that is elevated in not only total dissolved solids but also metals, nutrients, and micropollutants that have passed through conventional wastewater treatment. Management of this RO concentrate─dubbed municipal wastewater reuse concentrate (MWRC)─will be critical to address, especially as water reuse practices become more widespread. Building on existing brine management practices, this review explores MWRC management options by identifying infrastructural needs and opportunities for multi-beneficial disposal. To safeguard environmental systems from the potential hazards of MWRC, disposal, monitoring, and regulatory techniques are discussed to promote the safety and affordability of implementing MWRC management. Furthermore, opportunities for resource recovery and valorization are differentiated, while economic techniques to revamp cost-benefit analysis for MWRC management are examined. The goal of this critical review is to create a common foundation for researchers, practitioners, and regulators by providing an interdisciplinary set of tools and frameworks to address the impending challenges and emerging opportunities of MWRC management.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.3c06774

    View details for PubMedID 38193155

  • Integrated Energy Flexibility Management at Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Environmental science & technology Bolorinos, J., Mauter, M. S., Rajagopal, R. 2023


    On-site batteries, low-pressure biogas storage, and wastewater storage could position wastewater resource recovery facilities as a widespread source of industrial energy demand flexibility. This work introduces a digital twin method that simulates the coordinated operation of current and future energy flexibility resources. We combine process models and statistical learning on 15 min resolution sensor data to construct a facility's energy and water flows. We then value energy flexibility interventions and use an iterative search algorithm to optimize energy flexibility upgrades. Results from a California facility with anaerobic sludge digestion and biogas cogeneration predict a 17% reduction in electricity bills and an annualized 3% return on investment. A national analysis suggests substantial benefit from using existing flexibility resources, such as wet-weather storage, to reduce electricity bills but finds that new energy flexibility investments are much less profitable in electricity markets without time-of-use incentives and plants without existing cogeneration facilities. Profitability of a range of energy flexibility interventions may increase as a larger number of utilities place a premium on energy flexibility, and cogeneration is more widely adopted. Our findings suggest that policies are needed to incentivize the sector's energy flexibility and provide subsidized lending to finance it.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.3c00365

    View details for PubMedID 37327453

  • Assessing the economic viability of unconventional rare earth element feedstocks NATURE SUSTAINABILITY Fritz, A. G., Tarka, T. J., Mauter, M. S. 2023
  • Novel method for accurately estimating membrane transport properties and mass transfer coefficients in reverse osmosis JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Liang, Y., Dudchenko, A., Mauter, M. S. 2023; 679
  • Multi-scale planning model for robust urban drought response ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Zaniolo, M., Fletcher, S., Mauter, M. S. 2023; 18 (5)
  • Fixing the desalination membrane pipeline. Science (New York, N.Y.) McCutcheon, J. R., Mauter, M. S. 2023; 380 (6642): 242-244


    Materials discovery alone has not translated into lower-cost water treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.ade5313

    View details for PubMedID 37079673

  • Inadequacy of current approaches for characterizing membrane transport properties at high salinities JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Liang, Y., Dudchenko, A. V., Mauter, M. S. 2023; 668
  • FIND: A Synthetic weather generator to control drought Frequency, Intensity, and Duration ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE Zaniolo, M., Fletcher, S., Mauter, M. 2023; 172
  • High-Resolution Carbon Accounting Framework for Urban Water Supply Systems. Environmental science & technology Liu, Y., Mauter, M. S. 2022


    Decarbonization of urban infrastructure systems is imperative to meeting global climate goals. Urban water supply systems (UWSSs) account for 1-3% of urban electricity consumption in the U.S., a value expected to increase, as municipalities tap nontraditional water supplies that are either more distant or require more energy-intensive treatment. Reducing the carbon intensity of UWSSs will require a combination of infrastructure upgrades, operational modifications, and behavioral interventions, but urban water planners, water treatment system operators, and consumers lack transparent tools for quantifying the carbon emission implications of these decisions. We propose a high-resolution carbon accounting framework that allows for attribution of carbon emissions to individual water sources, water system components, or individual consumers in a UWSS. The high temporal resolution of this framework also enables rapid assessment of the potential for operational and behavioral interventions to reduce the carbon intensity of UWSSs. We demonstrate this carbon accounting framework on a real-world UWSS serving a city of roughly 100 000 residents. The high spatial and temporal resolution, coupled with the scalability of this approach, makes it a valuable tool for consulting engineers, operators, and consumers seeking to deliver Net Zero water supplies.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.2c04127

    View details for PubMedID 36130151

  • Energy-Optimal Siting of Decentralized Water Recycling Systems. Environmental science & technology Liu, Y., Sim, A., Mauter, M. S. 2021


    Decentralized water recycling systems (DWRS) have emerged as a viable option for incrementally augmenting water supply in water-stressed regions, but DWRS are generally more energy-intensive than traditional centralized water treatment systems. When DWRS are deployed incrementally in small batches, the marginal energy intensity (MEI) of water supply quantifies the location-specific energy footprint of centralized water supply and serves as a robust metric measuring the energy implications of replacing centralized supply with DWRS supply. This research develops and applies a MEI-based decision framework that identifies the energy-optimal siting of DWRS to minimize the overall system operational energy consumption given a target fraction of water demand to be met by newly deployed DWRS. In a small benchmark water supply system where the energy intensity of the intended DWRS is 5.3% higher than the current system average energy intensity of centralized supply, we demonstrate that the optimal siting of DWRS to offset 10% of the system-wide water demand reduces the overall system energy consumption by 0.77%. In contrast, the naive and worst-case siting of the same DWRS increases the energy consumption of the overall system by 0.65 and 2.0%, respectively. The proposed MEI-based decision framework is particularly valuable for application in large multi-source systems, where an optimization-based approach is computationally intractable. This study highlights the importance of accounting for both distribution and treatment energy intensity when evaluating new water sources and demonstrates the viability of DWRS as an energy-efficient tool for augmenting water supply.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.1c04708

    View details for PubMedID 34714641

  • High-impact innovations for high-salinity membrane desalination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Dudchenko, A. V., Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 118 (37)


    Reducing the cost of high-salinity (>75 g/L total dissolved solids) brine concentration technology would unlock the potential for vast inland water supplies and promote the safe management of concentrated aqueous waste streams. Impactful innovation will target component performance improvements and cost reductions that yield the highest impact on system costs, but the desalination community lacks methods for quantitatively evaluating the value of innovation or the robustness of technology platforms relative to competing technologies. This work proposes a suite of methods built on process-based cost optimization models that explicitly address the complexities of membrane-separation processes, namely that these processes comprise dozens of nonlinearly interacting components and that innovation can occur in more than one component at a time. We begin by demonstrating the merit of performing simple parametric sensitivity analysis on component performance and cost to guide the selection of materials and manufacturing methods that reduce system costs. A more rigorous implementation of this approach relates improvements in component performance to increases in component costs, helping to further discern high-impact innovation trajectories. The most advanced implementation includes a stochastic simulation of the value of innovation that accounts for both the expected impact of a component innovation on reducing system costs and the potential for improvements in other components. Finally, we apply these methods to identify innovations with the highest probability of substantially reducing the levelized cost of water from emerging membrane processes for high-salinity brine treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2022196118

    View details for PubMedID 34493650

  • Marginal energy intensity of water supply ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Liu, Y., Mauter, M. S. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d1ee00925g

    View details for Web of Science ID 000671191500001

  • Cost Comparison of Capacitive Deionization and Reverse Osmosis for Brackish Water Desalination ACS ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERING Liu, X., Shanbhag, S., Bartholomew, T., Whitacre, J. F., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 1 (2): 261-273
  • Build back wiser. Science (New York, N.Y.) Mauter, M. S. 2021; 373 (6562): 1417


    [Figure: see text].

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abm3438

    View details for PubMedID 34554786

  • Desalination for a circular water economy ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Mauter, M. S., Fiske, P. S. 2020; 13 (10): 3180–84

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d0ee01653e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000579868500001

  • Neural networks for estimating physical parameters in membrane distillation JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Dudchenko, A. V., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 610
  • Optimization Framework to Assess the Demand Response Capacity of a Water Distribution System JOURNAL OF WATER RESOURCES PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT Liu, Y., Barrows, C., Macknick, J., Mauter, M. 2020; 146 (8)
  • Quantifying uncertainty in groundwater depth from sparse well data in the California Central Valley ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Quay, A. N., Hering, A. S., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 15 (8)
  • Assessing the demand response capacity of US drinking water treatment plants APPLIED ENERGY Liu, Y., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 267
  • Environmentally significant shifts in trace element emissions from coal plants complying with the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments ENERGY POLICY Gingerich, D. B., Zhao, Y., Mauter, M. S. 2019; 132: 1206–15
  • Computational framework for modeling membrane processes without process and solution property simplifications JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S. 2019; 573: 682–93
  • The role of nanotechnology in tackling global water challenges NATURE SUSTAINABILITY Mauter, M. S., Zucker, I., Perreault, F., Werber, J. R., Kim, J., Elimelech, M. 2018; 1 (4): 166–75
  • Economic and policy drivers of agricultural water desalination in California's central valley AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT Welle, P. D., Medellin-Azuara, J., Viers, J. H., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 194: 192–203
  • Osmotically assisted reverse osmosis for high salinity brine treatment DESALINATION Bartholomew, T. V., Mey, L., Arena, J. T., Siefert, N. S., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 421: 3–11
  • Air Emissions Damages from Municipal Drinking Water Treatment Under Current and Proposed Regulatory Standards ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Gingerich, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 51 (18): 10299–306


    Water treatment processes present intersectoral and cross-media risk trade-offs that are not presently considered in Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory analyses. This paper develops a method for assessing the air emission implications of common municipal water treatment processes used to comply with recently promulgated and proposed regulatory standards, including concentration limits for, lead and copper, disinfection byproducts, chromium(VI), strontium, and PFOA/PFOS. Life-cycle models of electricity and chemical consumption for individual drinking water unit processes are used to estimate embedded NOx, SO2, PM2.5, and CO2 emissions on a cubic meter basis. We estimate air emission damages from currently installed treatment processes at U.S. drinking water facilities to be on the order of $500 million USD annually. Fully complying with six promulgated and proposed rules would increase baseline air emission damages by approximately 50%, with three-quarters of these damages originating from chemical manufacturing. Despite the magnitude of these air emission damages, the net benefit of currently implemented rules remains positive. For some proposed rules, however, the promise of net benefits remains contingent on technology choice.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b03461

    View details for Web of Science ID 000411549800005

    View details for PubMedID 28835098

  • High-resolution model for estimating the economic and policy implications of agricultural soil salinization in California ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Welle, P. D., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 12 (9)
  • Management and dewatering of brines extracted from geologic carbon storage sites INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GREENHOUSE GAS CONTROL Arena, J. T., Jain, J. C., Lopano, C. L., Hakala, J., Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S., Siefert, N. S. 2017; 63: 194–214
  • Spatially resolved air-water emissions tradeoffs improve regulatory impact analyses for electricity generation PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Gingerich, D. B., Sun, X., Behrer, A., Azevedo, I. L., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 114 (8): 1862–67


    Coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) generate air, water, and solids emissions that impose substantial human health, environmental, and climate change (HEC) damages. This work demonstrates the importance of accounting for cross-media emissions tradeoffs, plant and regional emissions factors, and spatially variation in the marginal damages of air emissions when performing regulatory impact analyses for electric power generation. As a case study, we assess the benefits and costs of treating wet flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater at US CFPPs using the two best available treatment technology options specified in the 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs). We perform a life-cycle inventory of electricity and chemical inputs to FGD wastewater treatment processes and quantify the marginal HEC damages of associated air emissions. We combine these spatially resolved damage estimates with Environmental Protection Agency estimates of water quality benefits, fuel-switching benefits, and regulatory compliance costs. We estimate that the ELGs will impose average net costs of $3.01 per cubic meter for chemical precipitation and biological wastewater treatment and $11.26 per cubic meter for zero-liquid discharge wastewater treatment (expected cost-benefit ratios of 1.8 and 1.7, respectively), with damages concentrated in regions containing a high fraction of coal generation or a large chemical manufacturing industry. Findings of net cost for FGD wastewater treatment are robust to uncertainty in auxiliary power source, location of chemical manufacturing, and binding air emissions limits in noncompliant regions, among other variables. Future regulatory design will minimize compliance costs and HEC tradeoffs by regulating air, water, and solids emissions simultaneously and performing regulatory assessments that account for spatial variation in emissions impacts.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1524396114

    View details for Web of Science ID 000395099500058

    View details for PubMedID 28167772

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5338367

  • Magnetically Directed Two-Dimensional Crystallization of OmpF Membrane Proteins in Block Copolymers JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Klara, S. S., Saboe, P. O., Sines, I. T., Babaei, M., Chiu, P., DeZorzi, R., Dayal, K., Walz, T., Kumar, M., Mauter, M. S. 2016; 138 (1): 28–31


    Two-dimensional (2D) alignment and crystallization of membrane proteins (MPs) is increasingly important in characterizing their three-dimensional (3D) structure, in designing pharmacological agents, and in leveraging MPs for biomimetic devices. Large, highly ordered MP 2D crystals in block copolymer (BCP) matrices are challenging to fabricate, but a facile and scalable technique for aligning and crystallizing MPs in thin-film geometries would rapidly translate into applications. This work introduces a novel method to grow larger and potentially better ordered 2D crystals by performing the crystallization process in the presence of a strong magnetic field. We demonstrate the efficacy of this approach using a β-barrel MP, outer membrane protein F (OmpF), in short-chain polybutadiene-poly(ethylene oxide) (PB-PEO) membranes. Crystals grown in a magnetic field were up to 5 times larger than conventionally grown crystals, and a signal-to-noise (SNR) analysis of diffraction peaks in Fourier transforms of specimens imaged by negative-stain electron microscopy (EM) and cryo-EM showed twice as many high-SNR diffraction peaks, indicating that the magnetic field also improves crystal order.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/jacs.5b03320

    View details for Web of Science ID 000368323100003

    View details for PubMedID 26677866

  • Component innovations for lower cost mechanical vapor compression. Water research Tucker, C. I., Bartholomew, T. V., Dudchenko, A. V., Mauter, M. S. 2024; 260: 121950


    Despite significant capital and operating costs, mechanical vapor compression (MVC) remains the preferred technology for challenging brine concentration applications. This work seeks to assess the dependence of MVC costs on feedwater salinity and desired water recovery and to quantify the value of improved component performance or reduced component costs for reducing the levelized cost of water (LCOW) of MVC. We built a cost optimization model coupling thermophysical, heat and mass transfer, and technoeconomic models to optimize and identify low cost MVC system designs as a function of feedwater salinity and water recovery. The LCOW ranges over 3.6 to 6.1 $/m3 for seawater feed salinities of 25-150 g/kg and water recoveries of 40-80 %. We then perform sensitivity analysis on parameter inputs to isolate irreducible costs and determine high value component innovation targets. The LCOW was most sensitive to evaporator material costs and performance, including the overall heat transfer coefficient in the evaporator. Process and material innovations such as polymer-composite evaporator tubes that reduce evaporator costs by 25 % without reducing heat transfer performance by more than 10 % would result in MVC cost reductions of 8 %.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2024.121950

    View details for PubMedID 38917505

  • Multicriteria Suitability Index for Prioritizing Early-Stage Deployments of Wastewater-Derived Fertilizers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Environmental science & technology Wong, C. A., Lobell, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2023


    Recycling nutrients from wastewater could simultaneously decrease the carbon intensity of traditional ammonia supply chains and increase the accessibility of local fertilizer. Despite the theoretical potential, techno-economic viability of wastewater nutrient recovery in sub-Saharan Africa has been poorly characterized at subnational scales. This work proposes a multicriteria suitability index to describe techno-economic viability of wastewater-derived fertilizer technologies with district-scale resolution. This index, with a range from 0 to 1 (highest suitability), incorporates key drivers, including population density, soil conditions, sanitation levels, and fertilizer prices. We found that suitability varies widely within and across countries in sub-Saharan Africa and that the primary limiting factor is the absence of sanitation infrastructure. Regions with a minimum of 10% cropland area and a suitability index of at least 0.9 were identified as highly suitable target regions for initial deployment. While they comprise only 1% of the analyzed area, these regions are home to 39 million people and contain up to 3.7 million hectares of cropland. Wastewater-derived fertilizer technologies could deliver an average of 25 kg of nitrogen per hectare of cropland, generating additional food equivalent to the annual consumption of 6 million people. Screening for high suitability can inform selection of effective lighthouse demonstration sites that derisk technology deployment and promote the transition to a more circular nutrient economy.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.3c05435

    View details for PubMedID 37909918

  • Fouling of Reverse Osmosis Membrane with Effluent Organic Matter: Componential Role of Hydrophobicity ACS ES&T WATER Stein, N., Sharon-Gojman, R., Mauter, M. S., Bernstein, R., Herzberg, M. 2023
  • Microporous Polyethersulfone Membranes Grafted with Zwitterionic Polymer Brushes Showing Microfiltration Permeance and Ultrafiltration Bacteriophage Removal. ACS applied materials & interfaces Qin, J., Ziemann, E., Bar-Zeev, E., Bone, S. E., Liang, Y., Mauter, M. S., Herzberg, M., Bernstein, R. 2023


    Virus removal from water using microfiltration (MF) membranes is of great interest but remains challenging owing to the membranes' mean pore sizes typically being significantly larger than most viruses. We present microporous membranes grafted with polyzwitterionic brushes (N-dimethylammonium betaine) that combine bacteriophage removal in the range of ultrafiltration (UF) membranes with the permeance of MF membranes. Brush structures were grafted in two steps: free-radical polymerization followed by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). Attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron (XPS) verified that grafting occurred at both sides of the membranes and that the grafting increased with increasing the zwitterion monomer concentration. The log reduction values (LRVs) of the pristine membrane increased from less than 0.5 LRV for T4 (100 nm) and NT1 (50 nm) bacteriophages to up to 4.5 LRV for the T4 and 3.1 LRV for the NT1 for the brush-grafted membranes with a permeance of about 1000 LMH/bar. The high permeance was attributed to a high-water fraction in the ultra-hydrophilic brush structure. The high measured LRVs of the brush-grafted membranes were attributed to enhanced bacteriophages exclusion from the membrane surface and entrapment of the ones that penetrated the pores due to the membranes' smaller mean pore-size and cross-section porosity than those of the pristine membrane, as seen by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and measured using liquid-liquid porometry. Micro X-ray fluorescence (mu-XRF) spectrometry and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry showed that 100 nm Si-coated gold nanospheres accumulated on the surface of the pristine membrane but not on the brush-coated membrane and that the nanospheres that penetrated the membranes were entrapped in the brush-grafted membrane but passed the pristine one. These results corroborate the LRVs obtained during filtration experiments and support the inference that the increased removal was due to a combined exclusion mechanism and entrapment. Overall, these microporous brush-grafted membranes show potential for use in advanced water treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.3c01495

    View details for PubMedID 37010122

  • Comparative Infrared Microscopy for Measuring Membrane Thermal Conductivity and Validating Theoretical Heat Transport Models ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Liu, T., Mauter, M. S. 2023
  • Aqueous Bromide Discharges from US Coal-Fired Power Plants: Points of Origin, Concentration Ranges, and Effluent Treatment Costs ENERGY & FUELS Fritz, A. G., Able, C., Mauter, M. S., Grol, E. 2023
  • Unraveling pH Effects on Ultrafiltration Membrane Fouling by Extracellular Polymeric Substances: Adsorption and Conformation Analyzed with Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance. Environmental science & technology Ran, N., Sharon-Gojman, R., Larsson, S., Gillor, O., Mauter, M. S., Herzberg, M. 2022


    Extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) can conform and orient on the surface according to the applied aquatic conditions. While pH elevation usually removes EPSs from membranes, small changes in pH can change the adsorbed EPS conformation and orientation, resulting in a decrease in membrane permeability. Accordingly, EPS layers were tested with localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensing and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) using a hybrid sensor. A novel membrane-mimetic hybrid QCM-D-LSPR sensor was designed to indicate both "dry" mass and mechanical load ("wet" mass) of the adsorbed EPS. The effect of pH on the EPS layer's viscoelastic properties and hydrated thickness analyzed by QCM-D corroborates with the shift in EPS areal concentration, GammaS, and the associated EPS conformation, analyzed by LSPR. As pH elevates, the processes of (i) elevation in EPS layer's thickness (QCM-D) and (ii) decrease in the EPS areal density, GammaS (LSPR), provide a clear indication for changes in EPS conformation, which decrease the effective ultrafiltration (UF) membrane pore diameter. This decrease in the pore diameter together with the increase in surface hydrophobicity elevates UF membrane hydraulic resistance.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.2c03085

    View details for PubMedID 36197031

  • Effects of meteorological and land surface modeling uncertainty on errors in winegrape ET calculated with SIMS IRRIGATION SCIENCE Doherty, C. T., Johnson, L. F., Volk, J., Mauter, M. S., Bambach, N., McElrone, A. J., Alfieri, J. G., Hipps, L. E., Prueger, J. H., Castro, S. J., Alsina, M., Kustas, W. P., Melton, F. S. 2022
  • Effects of meteorological and land surface modeling uncertainty on errors in winegrape ET calculated with SIMS. Irrigation science Doherty, C. T., Johnson, L. F., Volk, J., Mauter, M. S., Bambach, N., McElrone, A. J., Alfieri, J. G., Hipps, L. E., Prueger, J. H., Castro, S. J., Alsina, M. M., Kustas, W. P., Melton, F. S. 2022; 40 (4-5): 515-530


    Characterization of model errors is important when applying satellite-driven evapotranspiration (ET) models to water resource management problems. This study examines how uncertainty in meteorological forcing data and land surface modeling propagate through to errors in final ET data calculated using the Satellite Irrigation Management Support (SIMS) model, a computationally efficient ET model driven with satellite surface reflectance values. The model is applied to three instrumented winegrape vineyards over the 2017-2020 time period and the spatial and temporal variation in errors are analyzed. We illustrate how meteorological data inputs can introduce biases that vary in space and at seasonal timescales, but that can persist from year to year. We also observe that errors in SIMS estimates of land surface conductance can have a particularly strong dependence on time of year. Overall, meteorological inputs introduced RMSE of 0.33-0.65 mm/day (7-27%) across sites, while SIMS introduced RMSE of 0.55-0.83 mm/day (19-24%). The relative error contribution from meteorological inputs versus SIMS varied across sites; errors from SIMS were larger at one site, errors from meteorological inputs were larger at a second site, and the error contributions were of equal magnitude at the third site. The similar magnitude of error contributions is significant given that many satellite-driven ET models differ in their approaches to estimating land surface conductance, but often rely on similar or identical meteorological forcing data. The finding is particularly notable given that SIMS makes assumptions about the land surface (no soil evaporation or plant water stress) that do not always hold in practice. The results of this study show that improving SIMS by eliminating these assumptions would result in meteorological inputs dominating the error budget of the model on the whole. This finding underscores the need for further work on characterizing spatial uncertainty in the meteorological forcing of ET.The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00271-022-00808-9.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00271-022-00808-9

    View details for PubMedID 36172251

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9509309

  • Heat transfer innovations and their application in thermal desalination processes JOULE Liu, T., Mauter, M. S. 2022; 6 (6): 1199-1229
  • Guidance on Nusselt Number Correlation Selection in Membrane Distillation ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Dudchenko, A. V., Hardikar, M., Anand, A., Xin, R., Wang, R., Gopu, C., Mauter, M. S. 2022
  • Recommendations for Advancing FAIR and Open Data Standards in the Water Treatment Community ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Quay, A. N., Fiske, P. S., Mauter, M. S. 2022; 2 (3): 337-346
  • Carbon Benefits of Drinking Water Treatment Electrification ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Gingerich, D. B., Liu, J., Mauter, M. S. 2022; 2 (3): 367-376
  • Technology Baselines and Innovation Priorities for Securing Water Supply ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Mauter, M. S., Dionysiou, D. D., Kim, J. 2022; 2 (3): 271-272
  • Desalination Process Design Assisted by Osmotic Power for High Water Recovery and Low Energy Consumption ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Touati, K., Dudchenko, A., Mauter, M. S., Rahaman, M. 2022; 10 (7): 2409-2419
  • Technoeconomic Assessment of a Sequential Step-Leaching Process for Rare Earth Element Extraction from Acid Mine Drainage Precipitates ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Fritz, A. G., Tarka, T. J., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 9 (28): 9308-9316
  • The Economic Infeasibility of Salinity Gradient Energy via Pressure Retarded Osmosis ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Newby, A. N., Bartholomew, T., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 1 (7): 1113-1121
  • Competing Ion Behavior in Direct Electrochemical Selenite Reduction ACS ES&T ENGINEERING Zou, S., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 1 (6): 1028-1035
  • Cost optimization of multi-stage gap membrane distillation JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Dudchenko, A., Bartholomew, T., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 627
  • Cost and energy intensity of US potable water reuse systems ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE-WATER RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY Sim, A., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 7 (4): 748–61

    View details for DOI 10.1039/d1ew00017a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000637878900006

  • Real-time feedback improves multi-stakeholder design for complex environmental systems ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS Guo, N., Davis, A., Mauter, M., Whitacre, J. 2021; 3 (4)
  • Energy and CO2 Emissions Penalty Ranges for Geologic Carbon Storage Brine Management. Environmental science & technology Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S. 2021


    Safe and cost-effective geologic carbon storage will require active CO2 reservoir management, including brine extraction to minimize subsurface pressure accumulation. While past simulation and experimental efforts have estimated brine extraction volumes, carbon management policies must also assess the energy or emissions penalties of managing and disposing of this brine. We estimate energy and CO2 emission penalties of extracted brine management on a per tonne of CO2 stored basis by spatially integrating CO2 emissions from U.S. coal-fired electric generating units, CO2 storage reservoirs, and brine salinity data sets under several carbon and water management scenarios. We estimate a median energy penalty of 4.4-35 kWh/tonne CO2 stored, suggesting that brine management will be the largest post capture and compression energy sink in the carbon storage process. These estimates of energy demand for brine management are useful for evaluating end-uses for treated brine, assessing the cost of CO2 storage at the reservoir level, and optimizing national CO2 transport and storage infrastructure.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c06017

    View details for PubMedID 33764042

  • Direct Electrochemical Pathways for Selenium Reduction in Aqueous Solutions ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Zou, S., Mauter, M. S. 2021; 9 (5): 2027–36
  • Performance Loss of Activated Carbon Electrodes in Capacitive Deionization: Mechanisms and Material Property Predictors. Environmental science & technology Liu, X., Shanbhag, S., Natesakhawat, S., Whitacre, J. F., Mauter, M. S. 2020


    Understanding the material property origins of performance decay in carbon electrodes is critical to maximizing the longevity of capacitive deionization (CDI) systems. This study investigates the cycling stability of electrodes fabricated from six commercial and two post-processed activated carbons. We find that the capacity decay rate of electrodes in half cells is positively correlated with the specific surface area and total surface acidity of the activated carbons. We also demonstrate that half-cell cycling stability is consistent with full cell desalination performance durability. Additionally, our results suggest that increase in internal resistance and physical pore blockage resulting from extensive cycling may be important mechanisms for the specific capacitance decay of activated carbon electrodes in this study. Our findings provide crucial guidelines for selecting activated carbon electrodes for stable CDI performance over long-term operation and insight into appropriate parameters for electrode performance and longevity in models assessing the techno-economic viability of CDI. Finally, our half-cell cycling protocol also offers a method for evaluating the stability of new electrode materials without preparing large, freestanding electrodes.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c06549

    View details for PubMedID 33205957

  • Foulant Adsorption to Heterogeneous Surfaces with Zwitterionic Nanoscale Domains ACS APPLIED POLYMER MATERIALS Dudchenko, A., Bengani-Lutz, P., Asatekin, A., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 2 (11): 4709–18
  • Cost optimization of high recovery single stage gap membrane distillation JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Bartholomew, T. V., Dudchenko, A. V., Siefert, N. S., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 611
  • Flue Gas Desulfurization Wastewater Composition and Implications for Regulatory and Treatment Train Design. Environmental science & technology Gingerich, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2020


    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently revising its regulations on trace element discharges from flue gas desulfurization (FGD) wastewater. In this work, we expand a predictive model of trace element behavior at coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) to estimate the trace element concentration of FGD wastewater at the plant level. We demonstrate that variation in trace element concentrations in FGD wastewater can span several orders of magnitude and is a function of both coal rank and installed air pollution control devices. This conclusion suggests that the benefits and costs of FGD wastewater treatment for the median plant will poorly describe the actual benefits and costs over the full range of existing CFPPs. Our model can be used to identify different "classes" of CFPPs for future regulatory and technology development efforts and to evaluate the robustness of proposed treatment technologies in light of large intraplant variability. The model can also elucidate new compliance pathways that exploit empirical and mechanistic relationships between coal concentration, trace element partitioning, and FGD wastewater composition.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.9b07433

    View details for PubMedID 32146805

  • Impact of module design on heat transfer in membrane distillation JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Dudchenko, A. V., Hardikar, M., Xin, R., Joshi, S., Wang, R., Sharma, N., Mauter, M. S. 2020; 601
  • Bacterial biofilm formation on ion exchange membranes JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Herzberg, M., Pandit, S., Mauter, M. S., Oren, Y. 2020; 596
  • Magnetic Field-Induced Alignment of Nanofibrous Supramolecular Membranes: A Molecular Design Approach to Create Tissue-like Biomaterials. ACS applied materials & interfaces Radvar, E. n., Shi, Y. n., Grasso, S. n., Edwards-Gayle, C. J., Liu, X. n., Mauter, M. S., Castelletto, V. n., Hamley, I. W., Reece, M. J., S Azevedo, H. n. 2020


    A molecular design approach to fabricate nanofibrous membranes by self-assembly of aromatic cationic peptides with hyaluronic acid (HA) and nanofiber alignment under a magnetic field is reported. Peptides are designed to contain a block composed of four phenylalanine residues at the C-terminus, to drive their self-assembly by hydrophobic association and aromatic stacking, and have a positively charged domain of lysine residues for electrostatic interaction with HA. These two blocks are connected by a linker with a variable number of amino acids and the ability to adopt distinct conformations. Zeta potential measurements and circular dichroism confirm their positive charge and variable conformation (random coil, β-sheet, or α-helix), which depend on the pH and sequence. Their self-assembly, examined by fluorescence spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and transmission electron microscopy, show the formation of fiberlike nanostructures in the micromolar range. When the peptides are combined with HA, hydrogels or flat membranes are formed. The molecular structure tunes the mechanical behavior of the membranes and the nanofibers align in the direction of magnetic field due to the high diamagnetic anisotropy of phenylalanine residues. Mesenchymal stem cells cultured on magnetically aligned membranes elongate in direction of the nanofibers supporting their application for soft tissue engineering.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.0c05191

    View details for PubMedID 32283011

  • Understanding and mitigating performance decline in electrochemical deionization CURRENT OPINION IN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING Liu, X., Shanbhag, S., Mauter, M. S. 2019; 25: 67–74
  • Managing high salinity brines from geological carbon sequestration Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2019
  • Trace Element Mass Flow Rates from US Coal Fired Power Plants ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Sun, X., Gingerich, D. B., Azevedo, I. L., Mauter, M. S. 2019; 53 (10): 5585–95


    Trace elements (TEs) exit coal-fired power plants (CFPPs) via solid, liquid, and gaseous waste streams. Estimating the TE concentrations of these waste streams is essential to selecting pollution controls and estimating emission reduction benefits. This work introduces a generalizable mass balance model for estimating TE mass flow rates in CFPP waste streams and evaluates model accuracy for the U.S. coal fleet given current data constraints. We stochastically estimate, using a bootstrapping approach, the 2015 plant-level mass flow rates of Hg, Se, As, and Cl to solid, liquid, and gas phase waste streams by combining publicly available data for combusted coal TE concentrations with estimates of TE partitioning within installed air pollution control processes. When compared with measured and reported data on TE mass flow rates, this model generally overestimates masses by 30-50%, with larger errors for Hg. The partitioning estimates are consistent for Se, As, and Cl removal from flue gas, but tend to underestimate Hg removal. While our model is suitable for first-order estimates of TE mass flows, future work to improve model performance should focus on collecting and using new data on TE concentrations in the coal blend, where data quality is the weakest.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.9b01039

    View details for Web of Science ID 000469288100008

    View details for PubMedID 31074623

  • Zwitterionic copolymer additive architecture affects membrane performance: fouling resistance and surface rearrangement in saline solutions JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY A Kaner, P., Dudchenko, A. V., Mauter, M. S., Asatekin, A. 2019; 7 (9): 4829–46

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c8ta11553b

    View details for Web of Science ID 000460687400056

  • Mechanisms of Humic Acid Fouling on Capacitive and Insertion Electrodes for Electrochemical Desalination ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Liu, X., Whitacre, J. F., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 52 (21): 12633–41


    Though electrochemical deionization technologies have been widely explored for brackish water desalination and selective ion removal, their sustained performance in the presence of foulants common to environmental waters remains unclear. This study investigates the fundamental mechanisms by which carbonaceous electrodes used in capacitive deionization and insertion electrodes used for high-capacity selective ion removal are affected by the presence of humic acid (HA). We evaluate HA adsorption behavior and the resulting impact on the ion storage capacity and cycling stability of the electrode materials. We find that HA is primarily adsorbed to the mesopores of two carbonaceous electrodes with distinctly different pore structures, but that the ion storage and transport properties of the electrodes are not significantly impacted by HA adsorption. In contrast, HA adsorption resulted in sharp capacity decay for the insertion (Na4Mn9O18) electrode. We attribute this decay to both hindered Na+ ion diffusion to the insertion interface in the presence of adsorbed HA, as well as HA mediated electrode dissolution. These findings highlight the contrasting mechanisms for HA fouling of capacitive and insertion electrodes and suggest that insertion electrodes may be more susceptible to performance decline in electrochemical deionization of environmental waters.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b03261

    View details for Web of Science ID 000449722200068

    View details for PubMedID 30240196

  • Cost Optimization of Osmotically Assisted Reverse Osmosis ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Bartholomew, T., Siefert, N. S., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 52 (20): 11813–21


    We develop a nonlinear optimization model to identify minimum cost designs for osmotically assisted reverse osmosis (OARO), a multistaged membrane-based process for desalinating high-salinity brines. The optimization model enables comprehensive evaluation of a complex process configuration and operational decision space that includes nonlinear process performance and implicit relationships among membrane stages, saline sweep cycles, and makeup, purge, and recycle streams. The objective function minimizes cost, rather than energy or capital expenditures, to accurately account for the trade-offs in capital and operational expenses inherent in multistaged membrane processes. Generally, we find that cost-optimal OARO processes minimize the number of stages, eliminate the use of saline makeup streams, purge from the first sweep cycle, and successively decrease stage membrane area and sweep flow rates. The optimal OARO configuration for treating feed salinities of 50-125 g/L total dissolved solids with water recoveries between 30-70% results in costs less than or equal to $6 per m3 of product water. Sensitivity analysis suggests that future research to minimize OARO costs should focus on minimizing the membrane structural parameter while maximizing the membrane burst pressure and reducing the membrane unit cost.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b02771

    View details for Web of Science ID 000447816100040

    View details for PubMedID 30226376

  • Fundamental challenges and engineering opportunities in flue gas desulfurization wastewater treatment at coal fired power plants ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE-WATER RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY Gingerich, D. B., Grol, E., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 4 (7): 909–25

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c8ew00264a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000436569400002

  • Outstanding Reviewers for Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology in 2017 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE-WATER RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY Bagley, D., Chung, N., He, Z., Julian, T., Lee, Y., Mauter, M., Nghiem, L., Rodrigues, D., Wammer, K., Ward, B., Zhang, Q. 2018; 4 (6): 760

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c8ew90014k

    View details for Web of Science ID 000434312500001

  • ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering Virtual Special Issue on Systems Analysis, Design, and Optimization for Sustainability ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Cabezas, H., Mauter, M. S., Shonnard, D., You, F. 2018; 6 (6): 7199
  • Air Emission Reduction Benefits of Biogas Electricity Generation at Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Gingerich, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 52 (3): 1633–43


    Conventional processes for municipal wastewater treatment facilities are energy and materially intensive. This work quantifies the air emission implications of energy consumption, chemical use, and direct pollutant release at municipal wastewater treatment facilities across the U.S. and assesses the potential to avoid these damages by generating electricity and heat from the combustion of biogas produced during anaerobic sludge digestion. We find that embedded and on-site air emissions from municipal wastewater treatment imposed human health, environmental, and climate (HEC) damages on the order of $1.63 billion USD in 2012, with 85% of these damages attributed to the estimated consumption of 19 500 GWh of electricity by treatment processes annually, or 0.53% of the US electricity demand. An additional 11.8 million tons of biogenic CO2 are directly emitted by wastewater treatment and sludge digestion processes currently installed at plants. Retrofitting existing wastewater treatment facilities with anaerobic sludge digestion for biogas production and biogas-fueled heat and electricity generation has the potential to reduce HEC damages by up to 24.9% relative to baseline emissions. Retrofitting only large plants (>5 MGD), where biogas generation is more likely to be economically viable, would generate HEC benefits of $254 annually. These findings reinforce the importance of accounting for use-phase embedded air emissions and spatially resolved marginal damage estimates when designing sustainable infrastructure systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b04649

    View details for Web of Science ID 000424851700078

    View details for PubMedID 29090572

  • Technoeconomic Optimization of Emerging Technologies for Regulatory Analysis ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Gingerich, D. B., Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 6 (2): 2370–78
  • Retrofitting the Regulated Power Plant: Optimizing Energy Allocation to Electricity Generation, Water Treatment, and Carbon Capture Processes at Coal-Fired Generating Facilities ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Gingerichi, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2018; 6 (2): 2694–2703
  • Characterizing convective heat transfer coefficients in membrane distillation cassettes JOURNAL OF MEMBRANE SCIENCE Leitch, M. E., Lowry, G. V., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 538: 108–21
  • Influence of Electric Fields on Biofouling of Carbonaceous Electrodes ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Pandit, S., Shanbhag, S., Mauter, M., Oren, Y., Herzberg, M. 2017; 51 (17): 10022–30


    Biofouling commonly occurs on carbonaceous capacitive deionization electrodes in the process of treating natural waters. Although previous work reported the effect of electric fields on bacterial mortality for a variety of medical and engineered applications, the effect of electrode surface properties and the magnitude and polarity of applied electric fields on biofilm development has not been comprehensively investigated. This paper studies the formation of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm on a Papyex graphite (PA) and a carbon aerogel (CA) in the presence and the absence of an electric field. The experiments were conducted using a two-electrode flow cell with a voltage window of ±0.9 V. The CA was less susceptible to biofilm formation compared to the PA due to its lower surface roughness, lower hydrophobicity, and significant antimicrobial properties. For both positive and negative applied potentials, we observed an inverse relationship between biofilm formation and the magnitude of the applied potential. The effect is particularly strong for the CA electrodes and may be a result of cumulative effects between material toxicity and the stress experienced by cells at high applied potentials. Under the applied potentials for both electrodes, high production of endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) was indicative of bacterial stress. For both electrodes, the elevated specific ROS activity was lowest for the open circuit potential condition, elevated when cathodically and anodically polarized, and highest for the ±0.9 V cases. These high applied potentials are believed to affect the redox potential across the cell membrane and disrupt redox homeostasis, thereby inhibiting bacterial growth.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.6b06339

    View details for Web of Science ID 000410255800065

    View details for PubMedID 28741939

  • Computing the Diamagnetic Susceptibility and Diamagnetic Anisotropy of Membrane Proteins from Structural Subunits JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL THEORY AND COMPUTATION Babaei, M., Jones, I. C., Dayal, K., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 13 (6): 2945–53


    The behavior of large, complex molecules in the presence of magnetic fields is experimentally challenging to measure and computationally intensive to predict. This work proposes a novel, mixed-methods approach for efficiently computing the principal magnetic susceptibilities and diamagnetic anisotropy of membrane proteins. The hierarchical primary (amino acid), secondary (α helical and β sheet), and tertiary (α helix and β barrel) structure of transmembrane proteins enables analysis of a complex molecule using discrete subunits of varying size and resolution. The proposed method converts the magnetic susceptibility tensor for all protein subunits to a unit coordinate system and sums them to build the magnetic susceptibility tensor for the membrane protein. Using this approach, we calculate the diamagnetic anisotropy for all transmembrane proteins of known structure and investigate the effect of different subunit resolutions on the resulting predictions of diamagnetic anisotropy. We demonstrate that amino acid residues with aromatic side groups exhibit higher diamagnetic anisotropies. On average, high percentages of aromatic amino acid subunits, a β barrel tertiary structure, and a small volume are correlated with high volumetric diamagnetic anisotropy. Finally, we demonstrate that accounting for the spatial position of the residues with respect to one another is critical to accurately computing the magnetic properties of the complex protein molecule.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.jctc.6b01251

    View details for Web of Science ID 000403530100052

    View details for PubMedID 28418668

  • Allocating Damage Compensation in a Federalist System: Lessons from Spatially Resolved Air Emissions in the Marcellus ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Behrer, A., Mauter, M. S. 2017; 51 (7): 3600–3608


    The benefits and impacts of unconventional natural gas development are realized at different spatial scales, calling into question the appropriate jurisdictional level at which to set and enforce environmental policy. This paper evaluates impact fee allocation under Pennsylvania Act 13, which authorizes Commonwealth payments to Pennsylvania counties to offset damages from unconventional natural gas extraction in exchange for consolidated state-level regulatory authority. We evaluate the adequacy of damage compensation allocation for impacts that are spatially and temporally removed from the well site, using the air emissions associated with natural gas wastewater transport as a case study. Wastewater transport from wells eligible for 2011 impact fee disbursement calculations generated an estimated $11.6 million in air emission damages from 2004 to 2013, with 35% of damages occurring out-of-state and an average of 94% of damages occurring out-of-county. We find that compensatory payments from Pennsylvania Act 13, which are based upon the number of wells drilled in a county in a single year, inadequately account for spatially and temporally distributed impacts from wastewater transport. This case study of Pennsylvania Act 13 highlights potential issues associated with central regulators using compensatory payments as a means of resolving jurisdictional conflict. In cases where the central regulator benefits from the polluting activity, we argue that there is incentive to focus compensation on local damages and undervalue regional and spatially distributed damages in compensation algorithms.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.6b04886

    View details for Web of Science ID 000398646500003

    View details for PubMedID 28257186

  • Working on environmental challenges as an engineer gone wrong Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2017
  • Accurately determining convective heat transfer coefficients in membrane distillation cassettes Mauter, M., Leitch, M., Lowry, G. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2017
  • Nanotechnology for sustainable food production: promising opportunities and scientific challenges ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE-NANO Rodrigues, S. M., Demokritou, P., Dokoozlian, N., Hendren, C., Karn, B., Mauter, M. S., Sadik, O. A., Safarpour, M., Unrine, J. M., Viers, J., Welle, P., White, J. C., Wiesner, M. R., Lowry, G. V. 2017; 4 (4): 767–81

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c6en00573j

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399430500004

  • Air emission implications of expanded wastewater treatment at coal-fired generators Gingerich, D., Sun, X., Behrer, A., Azevedo, I., Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Techno-economic assessment of desalination technology for application in agriculture Welle, P., Azuara, J., Viers, J., Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Multi-objective optimization model for minimizing cost and environmental impact in shale gas water and wastewater management Bartholomew, T., Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Relating charge efficiency and ion removal in electrochemical deionization systems Shanbhag, S., Whitacre, J., Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Modeling convective and diffusive mass transport in capacitive deionization electrodes Iddya, A., Mauter, M., Shanbhag, S. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Trace element allocation across air pollution control devices in coal fired power plants Sun, X., Gingerich, D., Azevedo, I., Mauter, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2016
  • Multiobjective Optimization Model for Minimizing Cost and Environmental Impact in Shale Gas Water and Wastewater Management ACS SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING Bartholomew, T. V., Mauter, M. S. 2016; 4 (7): 3728–35
  • Surface Wetting Study via Pseudocontinuum Modeling JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C Makaremi, M., Jhon, M. S., Mauter, M. S., Biegler, L. T. 2016; 120 (21): 11528–34
  • Bacterial Nanocellulose Aerogel Membranes: Novel High-Porosity Materials for Membrane Distillation ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY LETTERS Leitch, M. E., Li, C., Ikkala, O., Mauter, M. S., Lowry, G. V. 2016; 3 (3): 85–91
  • Influence of surface charge on the rate, extent, and structure of adsorbed Bovine Serum Albumin to gold electrodes JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE Beykal, B., Herzberg, M., Oren, Y., Mauter, M. S. 2015; 460: 321–28


    The objective of this work is to investigate the rate, extent, and structure of amphoteric proteins with charged solid surfaces over a range of applied potentials and surface charges. We use Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (E-QCM-D) to investigate the adsorption of amphoteric Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) to a gold electrode while systematically varying the surface charge on the adsorbate and adsorbent by manipulating pH and applied potential, respectively. We also perform cyclic voltammetry-E-QCM-D on an adsorbed layer of BSA to elucidate conformational changes in response to varied applied potentials. We confirm previous results demonstrating that increasing magnitude of applied potential on the gold electrode is positively correlated with increasing mass adsorption when the protein and the surface are oppositely charged. On the other hand, we find that the rate of BSA adsorption is not governed by simple electrostatics, but instead depends on solution pH, an observation not well documented in the literature. Cyclic voltammetry with simultaneous E-QCM-D measurements suggest that BSA protein undergoes a conformational change as the surface potential varies.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2015.08.055

    View details for Web of Science ID 000363077800038

    View details for PubMedID 26348658

  • Electrodeposited MnO<sub>2</sub> For Pseudocapacitive Deionization: Relating Deposition Condition and Electrode Structure to Performance ELECTROCHIMICA ACTA Walker, P. J., Mauter, M. S., Whitacre, J. F. 2015; 182: 1008-1018
  • Quantity, Quality, and Availability of Waste Heat from United States Thermal Power Generation ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Gingerich, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2015; 49 (14): 8297–8306


    Secondary application of unconverted heat produced during electric power generation has the potential to improve the life-cycle fuel efficiency of the electric power industry and the sectors it serves. This work quantifies the residual heat (also known as waste heat) generated by U.S. thermal power plants and assesses the intermittency and transport issues that must be considered when planning to utilize this heat. Combining Energy Information Administration plant-level data with literature-reported process efficiency data, we develop estimates of the unconverted heat flux from individual U.S. thermal power plants in 2012. Together these power plants discharged an estimated 18.9 billion GJ(th) of residual heat in 2012, 4% of which was discharged at temperatures greater than 90 °C. We also characterize the temperature, spatial distribution, and temporal availability of this residual heat at the plant level and model the implications for the technical and economic feasibility of its end use. Increased implementation of flue gas desulfurization technologies at coal-fired facilities and the higher quality heat generated in the exhaust of natural gas fuel cycles are expected to increase the availability of residual heat generated by 10.6% in 2040.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es5060989

    View details for Web of Science ID 000358557900005

    View details for PubMedID 26061407

  • Crosslinked poly(ethylene oxide) containing siloxanes fabricated through thiol-ene photochemistry JOURNAL OF POLYMER SCIENCE PART A-POLYMER CHEMISTRY Kusuma, V. A., Roth, E. A., Clafshenkel, W. P., Klara, S. S., Zhou, X., Venna, S. R., Albenze, E., Luebke, D. R., Mauter, M. S., Koepsel, R. R., Russell, A. J., Hopkinson, D., Nulwala, H. B. 2015; 53 (13): 1548–57

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pola.27594

    View details for Web of Science ID 000354727800003

  • Water Treatment Capacity of Forward-Osmosis Systems Utilizing Power-Plant Waste Heat INDUSTRIAL & ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY RESEARCH Zhou, X., Gingerich, D. B., Mauter, M. S. 2015; 54 (24): 6378–89
  • Investment optimization model for freshwater acquisition and wastewater handling in shale gas production AICHE JOURNAL Yang, L., Grossmann, I. E., Mauter, M. S., Dilmore, R. M. 2015; 61 (6): 1770–82

    View details for DOI 10.1002/aic.14804

    View details for Web of Science ID 000355141100001

  • Risks and risk governance in unconventional shale gas development. Environmental science & technology Small, M. J., Stern, P. C., Bomberg, E., Christopherson, S. M., Goldstein, B. D., Israel, A. L., Jackson, R. B., Krupnick, A., Mauter, M. S., Nash, J., North, D. W., Olmstead, S. M., Prakash, A., Rabe, B., Richardson, N., Tierney, S., Webler, T., Wong-Parodi, G., Zielinska, B. 2014; 48 (15): 8289-8297


    A broad assessment is provided of the current state of knowledge regarding the risks associated with shale gas development and their governance. For the principal domains of risk, we identify observed and potential hazards and promising mitigation options to address them, characterizing current knowledge and research needs. Important unresolved research questions are identified for each area of risk; however, certain domains exhibit especially acute deficits of knowledge and attention, including integrated studies of public health, ecosystems, air quality, socioeconomic impacts on communities, and climate change. For these, current research and analysis are insufficient to either confirm or preclude important impacts. The rapidly evolving landscape of shale gas governance in the U.S. is also assessed, noting challenges and opportunities associated with the current decentralized (state-focused) system of regulation. We briefly review emerging approaches to shale gas governance in other nations, and consider new governance initiatives and options in the U.S. involving voluntary industry certification, comprehensive development plans, financial instruments, and possible future federal roles. In order to encompass the multiple relevant disciplines, address the complexities of the evolving shale gas system and reduce the many key uncertainties needed for improved management, a coordinated multiagency federal research effort will need to be implemented.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es502111u

    View details for PubMedID 24983403

  • Regional Variation in Water-Related Impacts of Shale Gas Development and Implications for Emerging International Plays ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Mauter, M. S., Alvarez, P. J., Burton, A., Cafaro, D. C., Chen, W., Gregory, K. B., Jiang, G., Li, Q., Pittock, J., Reible, D., Schnoor, J. L. 2014; 48 (15): 8298–8306


    The unconventional fossil fuel industry is expected to expand dramatically in coming decades as conventional reserves wane. Minimizing the environmental impacts of this energy transition requires a contextualized understanding of the unique regional issues that shale gas development poses. This manuscript highlights the variation in regional water issues associated with shale gas development in the U.S. and the approaches of various states in mitigating these impacts. The manuscript also explores opportunities for emerging international shale plays to leverage the diverse experiences of U.S. states in formulating development strategies that minimize water-related impacts within their environmental, cultural, and political ecosystem.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es405432k

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340080600003

    View details for PubMedID 24684515

  • Expert Elicitation of Trends in Marcellus Oil and Gas Wastewater Management JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING Mauter, M. S., Palmer, V. R. 2014; 140 (5)
  • Emerging Pollutants - Part II: Treatment WATER ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH Keen, O. S., Bell, K. Y., Cherchi, C., Finnegan, B. J., Mauter, M. S., Parker, A., Rosenblum, J. S., Stretz, H. A. 2014; 86 (10): 2036–96
  • Modular polymerized ionic liquid block copolymer membranes for CO2/N-2 separation JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY A Adzima, B. J., Venna, S. R., Klara, S. S., He, H., Zhong, M., Luebke, D. R., Mauter, M. S., Matyjaszewski, K., Nulwala, H. B. 2014; 2 (21): 7967–72

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c4ta00661e

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335924100046

  • Surface Cell Density Effects on Escherichia coli Gene Expression during Cell Attachment ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Mauter, M., Fait, A., Elimelech, M., Herzberg, M. 2013; 47 (12): 6223–30


    Escherichia coli attachment to a surface initiates a complex series of interconnected signaling and regulation pathways that promote biofilm formation and maturation. The present work investigates the effect of deposited cell density on E. coli cell physiology, metabolic activity, and gene expression in the initial stages of biofilm development. Deposited cell density is controlled by exploiting the relationship between ionic strength and bacterial attachment efficiency in a packed bed column. Distinct differences in cell transcriptome are analyzed by comparing sessile cultures at two different cell surface densities and differentiating ionic strength effects by analyzing planktonic cultures in parallel. Our results indicate that operons regulating trypotophan production and the galactitol phosphotransferase system (including dihydroxyacetone phosphate synthesis) are strongly affected by cell density on the surface. Additional transcriptome and metabolomic impacts of cell density on succinate, proline, and pyroglutamic acid systems are also reported. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that surface cell density plays a major role in sessile cell physiology, commencing with the first stage of biofilm formation. These findings improve our understanding of biofilm formation in natural and engineered environmental systems and will contribute to future work ranging from pathogen migration in the environment to control of biofouling on engineered surfaces.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es3047069

    View details for Web of Science ID 000320749000020

    View details for PubMedID 23692120

  • Emerging Pollutants - Part II: Treatment WATER ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH Bell, K. Y., Bandy, J., Finnegan, B. J., Keen, O., Mauter, M. S., Parker, A., Sima, L. C., Stretz, H. A. 2013; 85 (10): 2022–71
  • Stable Sequestration of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes in Self-Assembled Aqueous Nanopores JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M., Osuji, C. O. 2012; 134 (9): 3950–53


    We demonstrate the ability to stably sequester individual single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) within self-contained nanometer-scale aqueous volumes arrayed in an organic continuum. Large areal densities of 4 × 10(9) cm(-2) are readily achieved. SWNTs are incorporated into a surfactant mesophase which forms 2.3 nm diameter water channels by lyotropic self-assembly. Near-infrared fluorescence spectroscopy demonstrates that the SWNTs exist as well-dispersed tubes that are stable over several months and through multiple cycles of heating and cooling. Absence of physical distortion of the mesophase suggests that the SWNTs are stabilized by adsorbed surfactants that do not extend considerably from the surface. Our findings have important implications for templated assembly of carbon nanotubes using soft mesophases and the development of functional nanocomposites.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/ja209847u

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301550800005

    View details for PubMedID 22329579

  • New Perspectives on Nanomaterial Aquatic Ecotoxicity: Production Impacts Exceed Direct Exposure Impacts for Carbon Nanotoubes ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Eckelman, M. J., Mauter, M. S., Isaacs, J. A., Elimelech, M. 2012; 46 (5): 2902–10


    Environmental impacts due to engineered nanomaterials arise both from releases of the nanomaterials themselves as well as from their synthesis. In this work, we employ the USEtox model to quantify and compare aquatic ecotoxicity impacts over the life cycle of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). USEtox is an integrated multimedia fate, transport, and toxicity model covering large classes of organic and inorganic substances. This work evaluates the impacts of non-CNT emissions from three methods of synthesis (arc ablation, CVD, and HiPco), and compares these to the modeled ecotoxicity of CNTs released to the environment. Parameters for evaluating CNT ecotoxicity are bounded by a highly conservative "worst case" scenario and a "realistic" scenario that draws from existing literature on CNT fate, transport, and ecotoxicity. The results indicate that the ecotoxicity impacts of nanomaterial production processes are roughly equivalent to the ecotoxicity of CNT releases under the unrealistic worst case scenario, while exceeding the results of the realistic scenario by 3 orders of magnitude. Ecotoxicity from production processes is dominated by emissions of metals from electricity generation. Uncertainty exists for both production and release stages, and is modeled using a combination of Monte Carlo simulation and scenario analysis. The results of this analysis underscore the contributions of existing work on CNT fate and transport, as well as the importance of life cycle considerations in allocating time and resources toward research on mitigating the impacts of novel materials.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es203409a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000301023700056

    View details for PubMedID 22296240

  • Antifouling Ultrafiltration Membranes via Post-Fabrication Grafting of Biocidal Nanomaterials ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES Mauter, M. S., Wang, Y., Okemgbo, K. C., Osuji, C. O., Giannelis, E. P., Elimelech, M. 2011; 3 (8): 2861–68


    Ultrafiltration (UF) membranes perform critical pre-treatment functions in advanced water treatment processes. In operational systems, however, biofouling decreases membrane performance and increases the frequency and cost of chemical cleaning. The present work demonstrates a novel technique for covalently or ionically tethering antimicrobial nanoparticles to the surface of UF membranes. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) encapsulated in positively charged polyethyleneimine (PEI) were reacted with an oxygen plasma modified polysulfone UF membrane with and without 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) present. The nucleophilic primary amines of the PEI react with the electrophilic carboxyl groups on the UF membrane surface to form electrostatic and covalent bonds. The irreversible modification process imparts significant antimicrobial activity to the membrane surface. Post-synthesis functionalization methods, such as the one presented here, maximize the density of nanomaterials at the membrane surface and may provide a more efficient route for fabricating diverse array of reactive nanocomposite membranes.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/am200522v

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294146900008

    View details for PubMedID 21736330

  • Nanocomposites of Vertically Aligned Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes by Magnetic Alignment and Polymerization of a Lyotropic Precursor ACS NANO Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M., Osuji, C. O. 2010; 4 (11): 6651–58


    We demonstrate a novel path for the fabrication of thin-film polymer nanocomposites containing vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Liquid crystal mesophases of hexagonally packed cylindrical micelles orient with their long axes parallel to an applied magnetic field and template the alignment of SWNTs sequestered in the micellar cores. The mesophase is a stable single-phase material containing monomers that can be polymerized after nanotube alignment to form the nanocomposite polymer. The space-pervasive nature of magnetic fields and the tunable physicochemical properties of multicomponent mesophases make this an attractive approach that can be leveraged for application in diverse nanocomposite systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/nn102047j

    View details for Web of Science ID 000284438000041

    View details for PubMedID 20954699

  • Templated alignment of single-walled carbon nanotubes in polymer films Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M., Osuji, C. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2010
  • Single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) composite membranes for reduction of biofouling in water treatment Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2010
  • Microbial Cytotoxicity of Carbon-Based Nanomaterials: Implications for River Water and Wastewater Effluent ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Kang, S., Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M. 2009; 43 (7): 2648–53


    This study evaluates the cytotoxicity of four carbon-based nanomaterials (CBNs)--single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), aqueous phase C60 nanoparticles (aq-nC60), and colloidal graphite--in gram negative and gram positive bacteria. The potential impacts of CBNs on microorganisms in natural and engineered aquatic systems are also evaluated. SWNTs inactivate the highest percentage of cells in monocultures of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis, and Staphylococcus epidermis, as well as in the diverse microbial communities of river water and wastewater effluent. Bacterial cytotoxicity displays time dependence, with longer exposure times accentuating toxicity in monocultures with initial tolerance for SWNTs. In Bacillus subtilis, an additional 3.5 h of incubation produced a five fold increase in toxicity. Elevated concentration of NOM reduces the attachment of bacteria on SWNT aggregates by 50%, but does not mitigate toxicity toward attached cells. CBN toxicity in bacterial monocultures was a poor predictor of microbial inactivation in chemically and biologically complex environmental samples.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es8031506

    View details for Web of Science ID 000264759600081

    View details for PubMedID 19452930

  • Bacterial toxicity of carbon-based nanomaterials: Implication for natural and engineered aquatic system Kang, S., Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2009
  • Physicochemical determinants of multiwalled carbon nanotube bacterial cytotoxicity ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Kang, S., Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M. 2008; 42 (19): 7528–34


    Rational modification of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to isolate their specific physical and chemical properties will inform a mechanistic understanding of observed CNT toxicity in bacterial systems. The present study compares the toxicity of commercially obtained multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) before and after physicochemical modification via common purification and functionalization routes, including dry oxidation, acid treatment functionalization, and annealing. Experimental results support a correlation between bacterial cytotoxicity and physicochemical properties that enhance MWNT-cell contact opportunities. For example, we observe higher toxicity when the nanotubes are uncapped, debundled, short, and dispersed in solution. These conclusions demonstrate that physicochemical modifications of MWNTs alter their cytotoxicity in bacterial systems and underline the need for careful documentation of physical and chemical characteristics when reporting the toxicity of carbon-based nanomaterials.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es8010173

    View details for Web of Science ID 000259603700080

    View details for PubMedID 18939597

  • Environmental applications of carbon-based nanomaterials ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Mauter, M. S., Elimelech, M. 2008; 42 (16): 5843–59


    The unique and tunable properties of carbon-based nanomaterials enable new technologies for identifying and addressing environmental challenges. This review critically assesses the contributions of carbon-based nanomaterials to a broad range of environmental applications: sorbents, high-flux membranes, depth filters, antimicrobial agents, environmental sensors, renewable energy technologies, and pollution prevention strategies. In linking technological advance back to the physical, chemical, and electronic properties of carbonaceous nanomaterials, this article also outlines future opportunities for nanomaterial application in environmental systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/es8006904

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258439600006

    View details for PubMedID 18767635