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Research Overview

The Tarpeh Group reimagines liquid waste streams as valuable products. We realize this imagined vision by designing and evaluating physicochemical processes to selectively separate fertilizers, disinfectants, and commodity chemicals from all kinds of "waste"water. If you want to find out more about our approach, click the links below. 

Urine-Derived Products

Urine contains the majority of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium excreted by humans. We design processes to selectively extract these nutrients as fertilizers, disinfectants, and commodity chemicals. 

Electrochemical Resource Recovery

Electrochemical water treatment uses electric potential to drive separations and redox reactions in aqueous environments. Electrochemical processes facilitate process control, energy efficient treatment, and pH gradients. Our group developed electrochemical stripping, a novel process to selectively recover nitrogen as ammonium sulfate from wastewaters. We continue to develop novel processes, elucidate molecular mechanisms of redox reactions and transformation, and evaluate effects of reactor design on recovery efficiencies and rates. 

Contaminant Fate During Resource Recovery

To be marketable, waste-derived products must separate resources from contaminants. We focus on characterizing the fate of both biological (e.g., bacteria, viruses) and chemical (e.g., pharmaceuticals, opioids, metabolites) contaminants to increase selectivity and decrease risk. 

Resource-Constrained Communities

We connect our fundamental work on novel processes to broad societal impact focused on sanitation access. We believe our fundamental studies are improved by focusing on impacts while we characterize technologies rather than after we complete technology development.