The Chemical and Environmental Systems Modeling Research Group works on understanding chemical processes in solid solution interface, assess, characterize, monitor water and soil pollution, salt water intrusion and model the systems in order to find solutions for human benefit.
Perchlorate mobilization of metals and organics; Implications for Martian regolith:
This research was initiated in 2013. Perchlorate, a powerful oxidant, does not readily absorb to minerals or organic surfaces. Martian soils show higher concentrations of perchlorate (0.4 – 1 % ClO4−) than that on Earth. Therefore, the aim of this study is to understand perchlorate interactions in soil as an environmental hazard on metal mobilization as well as its capability of destroying organics in Martian regolith using model soils. Prof. Christopher Oze collaborates on this research and conducts part of the analysis at the Occidental College, USA.
Monitoring landfill leachate and its treatment for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):
This study was started in 2014 and is ongoing. Various organic pollutants detected in leachate from landfills are of environmental concern. One type of such hazardous compounds is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are carcinogenic compounds, and their presence in the landfills may pollute the atmosphere and water sources through volatilization and dissolution. Hence, this study focused on assessing the different types of VOCs and their quantities and use biochar to see the potential for VOC removal. This research is partly supported by the JICA-SATREPS and the NRC.
Biochar for environmental remediation:
Biochar research was started in 2012 and ongoing. The focus of this research is to investigate characteristics of different biochars produced by various waste resources in Sri Lanka for remediating pollutants and improving soil quality. Other than the pesticides, pharmaceuticals and heavy metal remediation were also studied for different biochars as a collaborative project with the Kangwon National University, South Korea.
Post graduate degrees obtained in 2014