Radisav Vidic Professor, Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Fax: 412-624-0135
949 Benedum Hall
Pittsburgh, PA


Interactions at interphases for environmental control

Keywords: adsorption, catalysis, colloidal systems, corrosion, surface precipitation, biofouling

Dr. Vidic's research group strives to develop fundamental understanding of physical/chemical process at solid/liquid interphase and apply that knowledge to design or improve environmental quality control measures to address key environmental concerns.  The main focus is on surface adsorption and catalysis processes as applied to adsorption and membrane separation processes for water and air purification.  
Current research projects are focused on two broad environmental problems: reuse of municipal and industrial wastewater and management of wastewater from unconventional gas resources.  Wastewater reuse applications are typically faced with extensive corrosion, scaling and biofouling problems and the fundamental understanding of key environmental factors that influence these phenomena is needed to develop requisite control strategies.  We have developed approaches to ensure proper use of secondary and treated municipal wastewater in cooling systems of thermoelectric power plants.
Recovery of natural gas from unconventional sources like deep shale plays leads to generation of wastewaters with extremely high salinity.  One feasible approach for management of this water is to reuse it to hydraulically fracture the next well.  To ensure success, it is necessary to understand geochemistry at the interface between the shale and fracturing fluid.  Furthermore, we have been advocating the use of abandoned mine drainage (AMD) as a source water for hydraulic fracturing operations.  This approach also requires understanding of the chemical compatibility between the AMD and shale wastewater and development of proper purification approaches for the mixed liquids. 
Other recent projects focused on the development of activated carbon based sorbents for the control of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants and use of activated carbons for selective hydrogen sulfide oxidation.