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David L. Freedman

David L. FreedmanProfessor & Chair
Rich Lab/445B Brackett Hall

Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, 1990
M.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 1985
B.S. Science & Environmental Change, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, 1978

Classes | Publications | Honors | CV

Faculty Overview

Dr. Freedman’s major teaching and research interests include: hazardous waste management, water and wastewater treatment, and biodegradation/bioremediation of recalcitrant organic compounds. Dr. Freedman's research focuses on the application of environmental microbiology to development of enhanced methods for biodegrading hazardous organic contaminants. Of particular interest is elucidation of biotransformation pathways and application of this knowledge to design of biological treatment processes.

Current studies include development of bioaugmentation cultures for chlorinated ethenes that grow at low pH, evaluation of bioremediation strategies to treat high concentration of halogenated methanes, use of biostimulation to enhance biogeochemical degradation of chlorinated ethenes in fractured sandstone, and studies to determine the anaerobic biodegradability of 1,4-dioxane.

Class Information

For current syllabi, please search the Clemson University Syllabus Repository.

EES 2010 Introduction to Environmental Engineering I
EES 8040 Biochemical Operations in Wastewater Treatment Systems
EES 8050 Laboratory in Water and Wastewater Treatment Operations
EES 8060 Wastewater Treatment Plant Design

Selected Publications

Ramos García, A. A., Walecka-Hutchison, C., Freedman, D. L. Effect of biostimulation and bioaugmentation on biodegradation of high concentrations of 1,4-dioxane.  Biodegradation, (2022).  doi:

Wang, H., Yu, R., Webb, J., Dollar, P., Freedman, D. L. Anaerobic biodegradation of chloroform and dichloromethane with a Dehalobacter enrichment culture. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 88 (4), e01970-21 (2022).  doi:10.1128/aem.01970-21

Ramos García, A. A., Adamson, D. T., Wilson, J. T., Lebrón, C, Danko, A. S., Freedman, D. L. Evaluation of natural attenuation of 1,4-dioxane in groundwater using a 14C assay. J. Haz. Mat., 424, Part C, 127540 (2022).

Adamson, D.T., Wilson, J.T., Freedman, D.L., Ramos García, A.A., Lebrón, C., Danko, A.S. Establishing the prevalence and relative rates of 1,4-dioxane biodegradation in groundwater to improve remedy evaluations. J. Haz. Mat., 424, Part D, 127736 (2022).

McMahan, C. S., Self, S., Rennert, L., Kalbaugh, C., Kriebel, D., Graves, D., Colby, C., Deaver, J. S., Popat, S., Karanfil, T., Freedman, D. L. 2021. COVID-19 wastewater epidemiology: a model to estimate infected populations.  The Lancet – Planetary Health, 5 (12), e874-e881 (2021).

Yu, R., Murdoch, L.C., Falta, R.W., Andrachek, R.G., Pierce, A.A., Parker, B.L., Cherry, J.A., Freedman, D.L., 2020. Chlorinated Ethene Degradation Rate Coefficients Simulated with Intact Sandstone Core Microcosms. Environ. Sci. Technol. 54, 15829–15839. doi:10.1021/ACS.EST.0C05083

Zhang, X., Kim, D., Freedman, D.L., Karanfil, T., 2020. Source characterization and removal of N-nitrosamine precursors during activated sludge treatment. Environ. Sci. Water Res. Technol. 6, 2432–2443. doi:10.1039/D0EW00425A

Zhang, X., Kim, D., Freedman, D.L., Karanfil, T., 2020. Impact of biological wastewater treatment on the reactivity of N-Nitrosodimethylamine precursors. Water Res. 186, 116315. doi:10.1016/J.WATRES.2020.116315

Barajas-Rodriguez, F.J., Murdoch, L.C., Falta, R.W., Freedman, D.L., 2019. Simulation of in situ biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane under metabolic and cometabolic conditions. J. Contam. Hydrol. 223, 103464. doi:10.1016/J.JCONHYD.2019.02.006

Wilson, J.T., Mills, J.C., Wilson, B.H., Ferrey, M.L., Freedman, D.L., Taggart, D., 2019. Using qPCR Assays to Predict Rates of Cometabolism of TCE in Aerobic Groundwater. Groundw. Monit. Remediat. 39, 53–63. doi:10.1111/gwmr.12321


Awards & Honors

Selected as a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member (BCEEM) by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, 2009.

Outstanding Publication Award for 2008, awarded by the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (for the 1989 Applied and Environmental Microbiology paper entitled "Biological Reductive Dechlorination of Tetrachloroethylene and Trichloroethylene to Ethylene under Methanogenic Conditions"); received with Dr. James M. Gossett (School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University).

Second Place, Montgomery-Watson Harza Master's Thesis Award, co-sponsored by the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors (October 1, 2002); received with Meghna Swamy.

Best Student Paper Award, Illinois Water Environment Association Fifteenth Annual Meeting (March 29-31, 1994); received with Steven D. Herz (M. S. thesis advisee).

First Place, Montgomery-Watson Master's Thesis Award, co-sponsored by the Association of Environmental Engineering Professors (October 4, 1993); received with Jennifer Becker.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award, American College of Toxicology, funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (1990).

General Electric Teaching Incentive Grant, Cornell University (1988).