University of California, Riverside

Bourns College of Engineering

Haizhou Liu

Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Haizhou Liu

Assistant Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Haizhou Liu

Ph.D. Environmental Engineering
University of Washington, 2010

Bourns Hall A239
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Telephone: 951-827-2076
Fax: 951-827-5696
Research Group Website

Former Institutions: University of California, Berkeley


Haizhou Liu received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from University of Washington in 2010, and has a M.S. in Civil Engineering from University of Washington and B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Sichuan University, China. Prior to joining UC Riverside, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley for two years in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Liu's research interests include colloidal metal behavior and redox chemistry in drinking water, water reuse and treatment, environmental remediation, electrochemistry and catalysis. The long-term research goal is to harness chemical reactions and processes of environmental significance to improve water quality and enhance water purification and reuse in engineered applications. Dr. Liu is a member of several professional societies and currently serving on the International Water Association's specialist committee on metals and toxic substances in drinking water.


  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, 2010
  • M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Washington, 2007
  • B.S. Environmental Engineering, Sichuan University (China), 2006

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • American Water Works Association
  • International Water Association
  • The Electrochemical Society
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors


  • Hellman Family Fund Faculty Fellowship, 2016.
  • Graduate Advisor to Best Graduate Student Poster Awards, including Emerging Contaminant Summit, 2016; International Symposium on Toxic Persistent Substances, 2015; American Water Works Association California Sectional Conference, 2015; California Groundwater Association, 2013. 
  • Best platform presentation, International Water Association, Young Water Professionals Conference, 2010
  • ACS Environmental Chemistry C. Ellen Gonter Graduate Student Paper Award, Division of Environmental Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2009.
  • Best young professionals poster presentation, American Water Works Association Annual Conference, 2009
  • Joseph W. Richards Research Fellowship, The Electrochemical Society, 2009
  • Graduate student award in environmental chemistry, American Chemical Society, 2008.

Research Areas

Dr. Liu's research is focused on the understanding and application of aquatic chemical processes to improve water quality, design treatment processes and provide more reliable water supplies. Climate change and population growth in the 21st century bring great challenges on the availability of high-quality water resources. Aquatic chemistry plays a pivotal role in both the engineered and natural systems of water cycle. Our research focuses on the applications of aquatic chemistry principles to our benefits in engineered applications such as water purification and wastewater reclamation, as well as to understand how various redox and interfacial chemical processes influence natural systems such as estuarine, surface and groundwater. We aim to understand these important steps of water cycle with a "source to tap and beyond" approach. We seek to integrate fundamental principles of surface chemistry, electrochemistry and chemical kinetics modeling with advanced analytical capacities to address these issues. In addition, we are active in outreach activities to serve our community in science education, raise public awareness on water issues and inspire the next generation of professionals and scientists. . Specific research areas include the following:

  • Development and application of innovative chemical and/or physicochemical techniques for simple, environmental friendly and cost-effective drinking water and water reuse treatment processes, with focus on the removal of emerging and persistent contaminants, including endocrine disrupting compounds and toxic nanomaterials.
  • Characterizing and modeling of chemical processes in drinking water distribution systems, with special interests on corrosion, release and colloidal behavior of metals (e.g., chromium, iron, copper and lead), kinetics of metal oxides-water interfacial reactions, metal redox chemistry with natural organic matter and residual disinfectants in drinking water distribution systems.
  • Application of new advanced analytical methods to understand solid-liquid interfacial reactions of environmental significance, including but not limited to electrochemical methods and electron microscopy and spectroscopy for surface analysis.
  • Development of novel chemical remediation technologies for contaminated soil and groundwater, with an emphasis on mechanistic understanding of reactions involving recalcitrant organic contaminants and radical species.
  • Mechanistic investigations and modeling of inorganic aquatic chemistry in natural and engineered environmental systems, particularly with regard to dissolved metal ions and mineral-mediated surface reactions.
  • Optimization of nutrient removal and management for wastewater treatment with special focus on the fate of dissolved organic nitrogen in wastewater effluent and its significance to eutrophication in surface waters.

Selected Publications

  • Chebeir, M.; Chen, G.; Liu, H. Frontier review: occurrence and speciation of chromium in drinking water distribution system. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. 2016, Accepted.
  • Chebeir, M.; Liu, H. Kinetics and mechanisms of Cr(VI) formation via the oxidation of Cr(III) solid phases by chlorine in drinking water. Environmental Science & Technology201650 (2), 701-710.
  • Liu, H.; Bruton, T.; Li, W.; Van Buren, J.; Prasse, C.; Doyle, F.; Sedlak, D. L. Oxidation of benzene by persulfate in the presence of Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-containing oxides: stoichiometric efficiency and transformation products. Environmental Science & Technology. 2016, 50 (2), 890-898.
  • Qin, C.; Liu, H.; Liu, L.; Smith, S.; Sedlak, D. L.; Gu, A. Z. Bioavailability and characterization of dissolved organic nitrogen and dissolved organic phosphorus in wastewater effluents. Science of the Total Environment. 2015, 511 (1), 47-53.
  • Liu, H.; Bruton, T.; Doyle, F.; Sedlak, D.L. A. In situ chemical oxidation of contaminated groundwater by persulfate: decomposition by Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-containing oxides and Aquifer Materials. Environmental Science & Technology201448 (17), 10330-10336.
  • Liu, H.; Peng, C.Y.; Ferguson, J.F.; Meyerhofer, P; Luckenbach, H.; Desormeaux, E.; Korshin, G.V. Impacts of blending desalinated water with conventionally treated surface water on iron corrosion and released from drinking water distribution systems. Water Research. 2013, 47 (11), 3817-3826.
  • Liu, H.; Jeong, J.; Gray, H.; Smith, S.; Sedlak, D.L. Algal uptake of hydrophobic and hydrophilic dissolved organic nitrogen in effluent from biological nutrient removal municipal wastewater treatment systems. Environmental Science & Technology. 2012, 46 (2), 713-721.
  • Liu, H.; Kuznetsov, A. M.; Masliy, A. N.; Korshin, G.V.; Ferguson, J.F. Formation of Pb(III) intermediates in the electrochemically controlled Pb(II)/PbO2 System. Environmental Science & Technology. 2012, 46 (3), 1430-1438.
  • Liu, H.; Schonberger, K. D.; Korshin, G.V.; Ferguson, J.F. Meyerhofer, P; Desormeaux, E.; Luckenbach, H. Effects of blending of desalinated water with treated surface drinking water on copper and lead release. Water Research. 2010, 44 (14), 4057-4066.
  • Liu, H.; Korshin, G.V.; Ferguson, J.F. Interactions of Pb(II)/Pb(IV) solid phases with chlorine and their effects on lead release. Environmental Science and Technology. 2009, 43 (9), 3278-3284.
  • Liu, H.; Korshin, G.V.; Ferguson, J.F. Investigation of the kinetics and mechanisms of the oxidation of cerussite and hydrocerussite by chlorine. Environmental Science and Technology. 2008, 42 (9), 3241-3247.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188