Research in the Arnold group focuses on water pollutants. We seek to understand how organic pollutants, such as industrial solvents, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals, behave in natural systems (e.g., lakes and rivers) and engineered systems (e.g., drinking water pipes, treatment technologies for contaminated waters). Our projects focus on fundamental chemical processes, including reactions that breakdown the pollution and pollutant movement from one phase to another (for example, water to sediment). This information is used to predict the environmental impact of pollutants and to develop improved treatment and remediation technologies.

Specific research areas include studying the kinetics, pathways, and mechanisms of anthropogenic chemical reactions that occur at surfaces or via photochemical processes; detection of analytes in water and sediment matrices; developing new remediation/containment techniques; assessing sources of disinfection byproducts, and using computational chemistry techniques to predict and/or explain experimental observations.

Our current efforts are focused on:

  • Redox reactions at mineral surfaces and in wetlands
  • Using 19F-NMR as a tool to quantify fluorinated compounds and track their degradation
  • Photochemistry of pharmaceuticals and pesticides in surface waters and engineered treatment systems
  • Sampling water and sediments to evaluate spatial temporal trends of contaminants
  • Understanding the role of organic matter in indirect photolysis process
  • Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes as pollutants
  • Encapsulation of chemicals/bacteria for tailored treatment
  • Assessment of sources of NDMA precursors

More details are on the Research Projects page, and some highlights are in these videos


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