Dr. Yongheng Huang has received the 2016 Texas A&M Technology Commercialization Innovation Award for development of a novel chemical water treatment technology.
The award recognizes researchers whose work exemplifies the spirit of innovation within the Texas A&M University System, according to award organizers.
Huang is a Texas A&M AgriLife Research engineer in College Station.
The chemical water-treatment platform removes a broad spectrum of heavy metals from some of the most challenging and high-impact industrial waste streams.
“The Activated Iron Technology was globally licensed to Siemens Water,” Huang said. “It has attracted broad attention for its potential in heavy metals-impaired wastewater treatment in steam-electric power plants, mining and refinery industries.”
Huang said the technology can also be applied to treat impurities in groundwater used in municipal water supplies.
The technology, which has been part of Huang’s research for more than 15 years, utilizes common industrial material iron powder to create a reactive media, he said. Through a controlled process, the media can transform and immobilize various heavy metal contaminants such as selenium, mercury and arsenic.
“The process is consistent and has many advantages over biological solutions,” Huang said.
Earlier this year, Huang and Dr. Tian C. Zhang of the University of Nebraskajointly won the 2016 Grand Prize in Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists for their work with the Activated Iron Technology. In 2013, he received the Rudolfs Industrial Waste Management Medal from the Water Environment Federation.
Huang earned his master’s degree from Tsinghua University of China and his doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests include water/wastewater treatment technologies, air pollution control technologies, wetland hydrology and environmental colloidal chemistry.