Rice University

Events at Rice

Lecture/Lecture Series

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Speaker: Michael Hoffmann
Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science
Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science

2017 Herb Ward Distinguished Lectureship in Environmental Science and Engineering Honors Professor Michael Hoffmann, Caltech

Friday, March 3, 2017
2:00 PM  to 3:00 PM

201  Ryon Engineering Building
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Semiconductor Electrochemical Wastewater Treatment: From a Design Concept To Full-Scale Manufacturing in Five Years - Michael Robert Hoffmann, NAE Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science The Hoffman research group at Caltech developed self-contained and transportable reactor systems that have been designed for the onsite treatment of domestic wastewater. After pre-treatment with a sequential anaerobic/aerobic baffled bioreactor, the effluent is processed further by semiconductor electrochemical arrays in which the COD and microbial loads are reduced to below US EPA reuse standards. Smaller-scale electrochemical reactors are used to convert gray water and hand washing water back into near potable water for reuse. Treated black water is recycled into flush water reservoirs without discharge to the surrounding environment. Domestic human wastewater is clarified with elimination of suspended particles along with a >95% reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total elimination of viable fecal coliforms, E. coli, viruses, and total coliforms. Enteric organism disinfection is achieved for bacteria and viruses via anodic reactive chlorine generation from in situ chloride ion oxidation coupled with the cathodic reduction of water to form molecular hydrogen. Performance and durability improvement of core semiconductor anodes and materials modifications to reduce production costs is ongoing. Second-and third-generation prototypes are undergoing field-testing in locations lacking conventional urban infrastructure for wastewater discharge and treatment; the packaged treatment systems can operate without an external source of electricity or fresh water. Manufacturing and extensive field-testing in China and India is underway. Two Caltech-China joint-venture companies, Eco-San and Entrustech, have been established in Yixing, China to manufacture self-contained solar toilet units for the developing world and electrochemical reactor systems, while at the same time additional industrial collaborations have been established in India with ERAM Scientific and with the Kohler Company (USA/India) for production of units to be used in urban and peri-urban environments in India. At the current time, larger-scale units are being assembled for use in South Africa, Peru, Southern China, and Cambodia.

Biography of Michael Hoffmann:
Professor Hoffmann received a BA from Northwestern University and a PhD degree from Brown University. He was appointed as a post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1973 to 1976. From 1975 to 1980, he served as an assistant and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. He joined the Environmental Science & Engineering faculty at Caltech in 1980. Prof. Hoffmann has more than 50,100 citations on Google Scholar. His Google Scholar H-Index is 100. Professor Hoffmann has also been recognized by the Web of Science as one of the most highly cited researchers in engineering in the world. Prof. Hoffmann was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Prize in 1991, the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in 2001, a second von Humboldt Prize in 2005, and the Jack E. McKee Medal presented by the Water Environment Federation in 2003. He was honored as a Distinguished Chair Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry, and Environmental Engineering at the National Taiwan University, Taipei in 2010. Prof. Hoffmann is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the De Tao International Master’s Academy based in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2012, Prof. Hoffmann received a prize from Bill Gates for his group’s work on solar-powered electrochemical treatment of human waste as applied to sanitation in the developing world. In 2012, he was recognized as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering and as a Global Vision Scholar by Tsinghua University. Prof. Hoffmann has been named as an Honorary Professor at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, the Beijing University of Science and Technology, and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Beihang University). University Degrees: Northwestern University, B.A., 1968 Brown University, Ph.D., 1974 California Institute of Technology, Post-Doctoral Scholar, 1973-76 Academic Positions: Theodore Y. Wu Professor, 2016 - James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science, 1996-2015 Dean of Graduate Studies, 2002-2009 Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Caltech, 1986-1995 Associate Professor of Environmental Science & Engineering, Caltech, 1980-1985 Associate Professor of Civil/Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota 1978-1980
Speaker URL



<<   June 2017   >>
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Search for Events


Quicklinks