Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Graduate student garners second national award in 2004

John Greenleaf '01, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering in the department of civil and environmental engineering, has received two major awards this year.

In October, Greenleaf accepted the 2004 Outstanding M.S. Thesis Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. The award, which included a cash prize and a plaque, was presented in New Orleans at the 77th annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference.

Earlier this year, Greenleaf received the Environmental Chemistry Graduate Student Award from the American Chemical Society.

Greenleaf's M.S. thesis, titled "Development and Characterization of A New Hybrid Ion Exchanger: Arsenic Removal and Underlying Mechanism," has served as the basis for four published articles.

"Arsenic in subsurface water: Its chemistry and removal by engineered processes" was included as a chapter in the book Environmental Separation of Heavy Metals, which was published in 2002. The article was co-written by Arup SenGupta, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering at Lehigh, who also edited the book.

"Arsenic removal using a polymeric/inorganic hybrid sorbent" was published in the journal Water Research in 2003 and co-authored with SenGupta and M.J. DeMarco.

"Polymer-supported inorganic nanoparticles: Characterization and environmental applications" was co-authored with SenGupta, D. Leun and Luis Cumbal, who recently received his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Lehigh, and published in 2003 in the journal Reactive and Functional Polymers.

"Abiotic As(III) oxidation by hydrated Fe(III) oxide (HFO) microparticles in a plug flow columnar configuration" was published in 2003 in the Journal of the Institute of Chemical Engineers" and co-authored with SenGupta, Cumbal and I. Staina.

Greenleaf is now investigating new, environmentally friendly versions of commonly used, not-so-environmentally friendly processes. His Ph.D. thesis is titled "Development and Characterization of Two Sustainable Environmental Separation Processes Using Ion-Exchange Fibers."

Greenleaf began his research career at Lehigh as an undergraduate student working in a National Science Foundation-sponsored summer research program. He spent more than two years then helping SenGupta develop a new way of using iron to remove arsenic from drinking water. He described the method in the article he co-wrote for SenGupta's book.

The system developed by SenGupta and Greenleaf has been installed in more than 100 villages in East India. An estimated 100 million people in India and Bangladesh drink well water that contains toxic levels of arsenic.

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2004

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