University of Virginia, Ph.D.
EREF Scholar 2011
Effect of AG Nanoparticles on Microbe Populations Found in Landfill and Ag-NP Transport through Liners
Project Description (while EREF Scholar):
The primary goal of Dianjun’s research is to identify how silver nanoparticles (AgNP) transport and transformation in municipal landfill, to determine whether the antimicrobial capability of AgNPs will deactivate the beneficial bacterial group responsible for degradation of municipal solid waste. Silver nanoparticles are a new class of cost-effective antimicrobial agents that have been widely used in recent years. However, materials that contain AgNPs are subject to deterioration, which has the potential to release AgNPs from the manufactured materials. In this form, the AgNPs have the ability to detrimentally impact the environment. As the use of AgNPs increases, the risk of AgNPs released into the environment increases. In a landfill, there is concern silver nanoparticles may transport through the earthen liner and contaminate groundwater. It is expected that the interaction between nanoparticles and transport environment would have a direct influence on transport behavior through landfill liner systems.
Dianjun began his adventure in environmental related area since 2001. He received a bachelor degree and master degree in environmental engineering from Hohai University and Tongji University in China, respectively. During then, he had a wonderful opportunity to work with nano materials (titanium dioxide) and its application in wastewater treatment. On 2008, he started his doctoral research in University of Virginia under Dr. James A. Smith. He moved further beyond his previous research, and now mainly focused on nanoparticles’ fate and transport in environment, as an effort to address the concerns consumers’ concerns over increasing number of commercial nanoproducts and their possible release into environment. Dianjun is also an avid photographer and tennis player.