Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Wei Zheng

Senior Research Scientist/Adjunct Faculty at NRES

One East Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, Illinois 61820
phone: 217-333-7276
fax: 217-333-8944

Wei Zheng

Dr. Zheng joined the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) in 2008 as a Senior Research Scientist and is also an adjunct assistant professor at Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI).

Prior to joining the ISTC, he worked as a research scientist at USDA-ARS, Salinity Laboratory and University of California, Riverside. He earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from Zhejiang University (China). Currently, his researches primarily focus on two areas: one is emerging contaminants and pathogens associated with wastewater treatment and water reuse; the other is bioenergy, especially for biochar production and application.

Research Interests

  • Biochar Research:
    • Carbon Sequestration
    • Soil Amendment
    • Contaminant Remediation
  • Environmental Research:
    • Environmental Fate and transport of Contaminants including Pesticides and Pharmaceuticals and Personal-Care Products (PPCPs)
    • Detoxification and Remediation
    • Contaminant Processes in Ecosystems
    • Water Quality Chemistry
    • Wastewater treatment
  • Method Development for Trace Contaminant Analysis
  • Food Quality Analysis: Antioxidant

Analytical Skill

  • Expertise in the operation and maintenance of analytical equipment:
    • Gas chromatography (GC)
    • Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (GCMS)
    • Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
    • LC-MS/MS
    • Ion chromatography (IC)
  • Familiar with other analytical techniques:
    • UV-VIS
    • FTIR
    • NMR
    • XRD
    • AAS
    • ICP
    • PCR

Professional Service

  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Member
  • Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Member
  • Editorial Board - International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis (Starting in 2012).
  • Review Panels - National Science Foundation & USDA Capacity Building Grants Research American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Research Competitiveness Program in the Environmental Chemistry
  • Reviewer for Grant Proposals
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • Department of Energy (DOE)
    • US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Reviewer for Journals
    Dr. Zheng has reviewed over 150 manuscripts for numerous peer-reviewed Journals

Funded Grants

  • Uptake and Accumulation of Pharmaceuticals and Hormones in Vegetables after Irrigation of Reused Water, Illinois Hazardous Waste Funds, $25,000, (2012-2013), Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Spatial and Source Apportionment Analysis of Contaminants in the Illinois River Sediments, Illinois Hazardous Waste Funds, $40,000, (2012-2013), PI.
  • Fate and transport of steroid hormones and veterinary antibiotics derived from cattle farms, USDA/CSREES’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, $386,775 (2010-2013), Principal Investigator (PI).
  • Using biochar as a soil amendment for sustainable agriculture, Illinois Department of agriculture, $24,000 (2009-2010), PI.
  • Application of Biochar as a Soil Amendment in Greenhouse, Illinois Hazardous Waste Funds, $6,000. (2010-2012), PI.
  • Fate of pharmaceutical and personal care products in irrigated wastewater effluent, Illinois Hazardous Waste Funds, $24,970 (2011-2013), co-PI.
  • Optimized Antioxidants for Biodiesel, Illinois Hazardous Waste Funds, 2008-2009, co-PI.

Awards and Highlights

2013 Sewage lagoons remove most - but not all - pharmaceuticals.” U of I News Bureau, February, 2013
  "Project: Compost and Waste Management." SisterCities International, May 2013
2012 Team determines how estrogens persist in dairy farm wastewater.” U of I News Bureau, June, 2012
  First-place Poster Award in 6th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology
2004 First-place Young Scientist’s Research Recognition Award by ACS Agrochemical Division
2002 The manuscript titled “Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs” is highly appreciated in Newscripts section of Chemical Engineering News (February 25, 2002, p.56), Chemistry published by ACS (2002, spring/summer, p4), and Better Nutrition (April 2002, p.20).
2001 The manuscript titled “Effect of Plant Growth Temperature on Antioxidant Capacity in Strawberry” is featured in the perspectives section of Chemistry in Britain (January, 2002, p17-18) and recommended as 2001 Hot Article in J. Agric. Food Chem.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Dr. Zheng has over 60 publications; below is a selection of those publications.

  • Wei Zheng, Yonghong Zou, Xiaolin Li, Michael L. Machesky, 2013. Fate of estrogen conjugate 17α-estradiol-3-sulfate in dairy wastewater: Comparison of aerobic and anaerobic degradation and metabolite formation. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 258-259: 109-115.
  • Yonghong Zou, Wei Zheng. 2013. Modeling Manure Colloids Facilitated Transport of Weakly Hydrophobic Antibiotic Florfenicol in Saturated Soil Columns. Environ. Sci. Technol. 47: 5185-5192.
  • Xiaolin Li, Wei Zheng, Walton R. Kelly. Occurrence and removal of pharmaceutical and hormone contaminants in rural wastewater treatment lagoons. Sci. Total Environ. 2013, 445-446, 22-28.
  • Wei Zheng, Xiaolin Li, Scott R. Yates, Scott A. Bradford. Anaerobic transformation kinetics and mechanism of steroid estrogenic hormones in dairy lagoon water. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2012, 46, 5471-5478.
  • Xiaolin Li, Wei Zheng, Michael L. Machesky, Scott R Yates, Michael Katterhenry. Degradation Kinetics and Mechanism of Antibiotic Ceftiofur in Recycled Water Derived from Beef Farm. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2011, 59, 10176-10181.
  • Scott R. Yates, James Kunteson, Wei Zheng, Qiquan Wang. Effect of Organic Material on Field-scale Emissions of 1,3-Dichloropropene. J. Environ. Quality. 2011, 40, 1470-1479.
  • Wei Zheng, Mingxin Guo, Teresa Chow, Douglas N. Bennett, Nandakishore Rajagopalan. Sorption Properties of Greenwaste Biochar for Two Triazine Pesticides. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2010, 121-126.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Scott A. Bradford. Analysis of steroid hormones in a typical dairy waste disposal system. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 530-535.
  • Scott R. Yates, James Kunteson, Ernst, F.F., Wei Zheng, Qiquan Wang. Effect of sequential surface irrigations on field-scale emissions of 1,3-dichloropropene. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 8753-8758.
  • Scott A. Bradford, Eran Segal, Wei Zheng, Qiquan Wang, Stephen R. Hutchins. Reuse of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Wastewater on Agricultural Lands. J. Environ. Quality. 2008, 37, S-97-S-115.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik. Transformation Kinetics and Mechanism of the Sulfonylurea Herbicides Pyrazosulfuron Ethyl and Halosulfuron ethyl in Aqueous Solutions. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2008, 56(16), 7367-7372.
  • Daniel R. Ashworth, Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates. Determining Breakthrough of the Soil Fumigant Chloropicrin from 120 mg XAD-4 Sorbent Tubes. Atmos. Environ. 2008, 42(21), 5483-5488.
  • Wei Zheng, Jay Gan, Sharon K. Papiernik, Scott R. Yates. Identification of volatile/semi-volatile products derived from chemical remediation of cis-1,3-dichloropropene by thiosulfate. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2007. 41, 6454-6459.
  • Yonghua Zheng, Chien Y. Wang Shiow Y, Wang, Wei Zheng. Changes in strawberry phenolics, anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacity in response to high oxygen treatments. Food Sci. Technol. 2007. 40 (1), 49-57.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik. Reducing Fumigant Emission from Soil Columns with a Simulated Reactive Surface Barrier. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2006. 40, 2402-2407.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo. Dechlorination of chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene by bisulfide: Redox and nuclephilic substitution reaction. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2006, 54, 2280-2287.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik. Conversion of metam sodium and emission of fumigant from soil columns. Atmos. Environ. 2006, 40, 7046-7056.
  • Wei Zheng, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo, Scott R. Yates. Construction of a Reactive Surface Barrier to Reduce 1,3-Dichloropropene Emissions. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2005. 24(8). 1867-1874.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo. Transformation of herbicide propachlor by an agrochemical thiourea. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2004. 38, 6855-6860.
  • Wei Zheng, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo, Scott R. Yates. Remediation of methyl iodide in aqueous solution and amended soils with thiourea. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2004, 38, 1188-1194.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo. Effect of combined application of methyl isothiocyanate and chloropicrin on their transformation. J. Environ. Qual. 2004, 33, 2157-2164.
  • Wei Zheng, Scott R. Yates, Minxing Guo, Sharon K. Papiernik, Jung Ho Kim. 2004. Transformation of chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene by metam sodium in a combined application of fumigants. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004, 52, 3002-3009.
  • Wei Zheng, Weiping Liu, Yuezhong Wen and Sangjin Lee. Photochemistry of insecticide imidacloprid: direct and sensitized photolysis in aqueous medium. J. Environ. Sci. 2004, 16, 539-542.
  • Wei Zheng, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo, Scott R. Yates. Competitive degradation between fumigants chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene in unamended and Amended soils. J. Environ. Qual. 2003, 32, 1733-1742.
  • Wei Zheng, Sharon K. Papiernik, Minxing Guo, Scott R. Yates. Accelerated degradation of methyl iodide by agrochemicals. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 673-679.
  • Wei Zheng, Shiow Y. Oxygen radical absorbing capacity of phenolic in blueberries, cranberries, chokeberries, and lingonberries. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003, 51, 502-509.
  • Wei Zheng, Shiow Y. Wang. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2001, 49, 5165-5170.

Presentations and Symposia Proceedings:
Dr. Zheng has given numerous invited presentations to national and international audiences (over 50).

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