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Tanju Karanfil

Tanju KaranfilProfessor, EEES
Senior Vice President for Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors
Clemson University
230 Kappa Street

Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 1995
M.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 1991
B.S. Environmental Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, 1988

Professional Registration
International Water Association Fellow
Professional Engineer, South Carolina, 2003, No. 23143
Board Certified Environmental Engineer, 2005, No. 04-10040

Classes | Publications | Honors | CV

Faculty Overview

Dr. Karanfil's primary teaching and research interests are in the fundamentals and applications of physicochemical processes in water, wastewater, and hazardous waste treatment systems. His research group is particularly interested in applying fundamentals of chemistry and engineering to address environmental challenges faced in practical applications, including both engineered and natural systems.

Dr. Karanfil has made significant scientific contributions (detailed below) in the areas of (i.) adsorption processes; (ii.) disinfection by-product formation; (iii.) wildfire impacts in water treatment; and (iv.) environmental treatment technologies:

(i) Adsorption Processes: Dr. Karanfil and his students have elucidated and advanced our understanding of the removal mechanisms of synthetic organic contaminants (SOCs) as well as natural organic matter by carbonaceous adsorbents (activated carbons, carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes, graphenes, ion exchange resins, microplastics). Dr. Karanfil has tailored sorbents for selective removal of target compounds from water and wastewaters. He has developed quantitative structure relationships for modeling SOC adsorption by carbon nanotubes, which opened a new area of research in literature. His publications from the adsorption work have been highly cited, indicating utilization by the scientific community. His work has guided the selection of sorbents and in designing and operating effective adsorbers and ion-exchange systems for water and wastewater treatment. He has developed and produced carbonaceous adsorbents, including their scale-up for commercial production, from agricultural waste products for their valorization and reuse. His recent work has also examined the adsorptive interactions of microplastics in the environment. Furthermore, his adsorption research documented the potentially negative environmental impacts of the release of carbon nanotubes in natural systems.

(ii) Disinfection by-product (DBP) formation: Dr. Karanfil’s research has focused mainly on the formation and control of both regulated and emerging DBPs that are known to form in water but are not yet regulated. His research on trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, halonitromethanes, haloacetonitriles, iodotrihalomethanes, and nitrosamines revealed the factors (e.g., precursors, water chemistry, oxidant types, operational conditions) controlling their formation in drinking water, desalinated waters, wastewater effluents, as well as swimming pools. While studying the emerging DBPs, he has used a holistic approach to include the regulated DBPs and toxicological assessment to develop practical solutions for water utilities. The publications from the DBP research have also been highly cited in the literature, indicating their impact.

(iii) Wildfires impact on water quality: In recent years, Dr. Karanfil and his collaborators have also investigated the impacts of wildfires on water quality and treatability. He investigated the impacts of wildfires around the U.S. Furthermore, he and his research group have studied the impact of fire-control techniques (e.g., prescribed fires, mechanical testing) to control wildfires, which have been systematically investigated for the first time, and showed that some of these techniques can be viable for certain regions to minimize the negative impacts and risks of wildfires.

(iv) Development of novel environmental treatment technologies: Dr. Karanfil and his research group have also explored the use of nanobubbles in both natural and engineered systems. Further, he has investigated regeneration activated carbons and biosolids saturated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using microwave and thermal regeneration techniques. He has conducted fundamental mechanistic studies of these processes as well as examined factors controlling their practical applications.

Dr. Karanfil's research group is particularly interested in applying fundamentals of chemistry and engineering to address environmental challenges faced in practical applications, including both engineered and natural systems.

Class Information

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

EES 8030 Physicochemical Operations in Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems
EES 8050 Laboratory in Water and Wastewater Treatment Operations
EES 8060 Drinking Water Treatment Plant Design

Selected Publications

Lee., Y.K., Yoo, H-Y., Ko, K-S., He, W., Karanfil, T. and Hur, J. “Tracing Microplastic (MP)-derived Dissolved Organic Matter in the Infiltration of MP-contaminated Sand System and Its Disinfection Byproducts Formation,” Water Research, 221, 118806 (2022).

Chowdhury, S., Koyappathody, T.M.F and Karanfil, T. “Removal of Halides from Drinking Water: Technological Achievements in the Past Decade and Research Needs,” Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29, 55514–55527 (2022).

Liu, Y., Liu, K., Plewa, M.J., Karanfil, T., Liu, C. “Formation of Regulated and Unregulated Disinfection Byproducts during Chlorination and Chloramination: Roles of Dissolved Organic Matter Type, Bromide, and Iodide,” Journal of Environmental Sciences, 117, 151-160, (2022).

Zhang, X., Kim, D., and Karanfil, T. “Effect of Activated Sludge Treatment on the Formation of N-Nitrosamines under Different Chloramination Conditions,” Journal of Environmental Sciences, 117, 242-252, (2022).

Soyluoglu, M., Kim, D., Zaker, Y. and Karanfil, T. “Removal Mechanisms of Geosmin and MIB by Oxygen Nanobubbles in Drinking Water Treatment,” Chemical Engineering Journal, 443, 136535, (2022).

Liu, H., Li, Z., Qiang, Z., Karanfil, T., Yang, M. and Liu C. “The Elimination of Cell-Associated and Cell-Free Antibiotic Resistance Genes During Membrane Filtration Processes: A review,” Science of the Total Environment, 833, 155250 (2022).

Grote, M., Boudenne, J-L., Croue, J-P., Escher, B., von Gunten, U., Hofer, T., Jenner, H., Jiang, J., Karanfil, T., Khalanski, M., Kim, D., Linders, J., Maas, J., Manasfi, T., Polman, H., Quack, B., Tegtmeir, S., Werschkun, B., Zhang, X. and Ziegler, G., “Inputs of Disinfection By-Products into the Marine Environment – Sources, Quantities and Potential Risks,” Water Research, 217, 118383 (2022).

Chen, H., Ersan, M.S., Tolic, N., Chu, R., Karanfil, T. and Chow, A. “Chemical Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter in Smoldering-burned Leaf Needless and Woody Trunks of Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) as Disinfection Byproduct Precursors Using UV/Fluorescence and ESI FT-ICR MS,” Water Research, 209, 117962 (2022).

Ateia, M., Ersan, G., Alam, G.M., Boffito, D.C. and Karanfil, T. “Microplastic Sources, Fate, Toxicity, Detection, and Interactions with Micropollutants in Aquatic Ecosystems – a Review of Reviews,” Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 24, 172-195 (2022).

Liu, C., Shin, Y-H., Ersan, M.S., Wagner, E., Plewa, M.J., Amy, G. and Karanfil, T., “Preferential Halogenation of Algal Organic Matter by Iodine over Chlorine and Bromine: Formation of Disinfection Byproducts and Correlation with Toxicity of Disinfected Waters,” Environmental Science and Technology, 56, (2) 1244-1256 (2022).

Awards & Honors

South Carolina Excellence in Scientific Research (ESR) Award, South Carolina Academy of Sciences and Governor of South Carolina (2021)

Election to the Turkish Academy of Sciences as a Principal Member (2021)

Associate Editor, Water Research (2020-present)

Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), Science Special Award in Engineering (2018)

Akdeniz University, Environmental Problems and Applications Center, Science Award (2018)

American Water Works Association, Membrane Treatment Best Paper Award (2014 & 2016)

Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of American Water Works Association (2008-2013)

American Water Works Association, Academic Achievement Award (2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007)

American Water Works Association South Carolina Section, Membership Award (2008-2009)

Clemson University, Board of Trustees Award for Faculty Excellence (2011, 2008, 2006, 2003, 2002)

Clemson University, College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, McQueen Quattlebaum Faculty Achievement Award (2005)

National Science Foundation, Early CAREER Award (2001)

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Ph.D. Fellowship, (1989-1992)