Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory

Research Expertise

  • Environmental emergency response

  • Marine and coastal environmental protection

  • Water and wastewater treatment

  • Remediation engineering

  • Environmental nanotechnology

  • Environmental biotechnology

  • Environmental modeling and decision making

  • Northern region and harsh environmental studies

  • Climate change adaptation

  • Environmental sustainability

Institution

Memorial University

Website

Address

Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science (S.J. Carew Building)
Memorial University
240 Prince Phillip Drive
St. John’s, NL
Canada A1B 3X5

Contact

Dr. Bing Chen
Professor & Director of NRPOP Laboratory
bchen@mun.ca

Lidan Tao
NRPOP Lab Instructor
ltao@mun.ca

Brief Introduction

The Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Industrial Research and Innovation Funds (IRIF) of Newfoundland and Labrador Government. It is a first of its kind in Canada hosting pioneering research on quantitative understanding of persistent and toxic organic pollution and their effects in harsh marine and freshwater environments and development of innovative engineering and managerial solutions by integrating environmental engineering with nano/biological technologies and risk-simulation-optimization methods. The lab is equipped with a multi-scale experimental system which can be used to support model development through simulating the transport processes of persistent organic pollutants and their degradation products, testing the effects of pollution control and remediation practices, and gathering data for driving and validating models. Its associated research aims to enhance the understanding of the pollution mechanisms and help governments and industries improve their practices for mitigation of the POPs-related pollution problems, leading to short-/long-term environmental, economic and social benefits.

Research Strengths and Interests

  • Environmental analysis and testing for persistent, emerging and organic pollutants (PEOPs)

  • Physical and numerical simulation of PEOPs fate and transport

  • Advanced water and wastewater treatment and removal of PEOPs

  • Inland and marine oil spill response and cleanup

  • AI aided environmental emergency response decision support

  • Remediation and enhancement by nano/ biotechnology for brownfield and other contaminated sites

  • Nano-material and technologies for environmental application

  • Microbiological testing and environmental biotechnology

  • Artificial intelligence and application for environmental research

Lab Facilities

Advanced analytical instruments

  • GC-MS, GC-MS/MS, GC-HID/ECD/TCD, HPLC-MS/MS, flash chromatograph, AAS, TPH, TOC, spectrophotometers, AES, AFM, viscometer, drop shape analyzer, etc.

Biological and nanomaterial devices

  • Digital PCR, microplate reader, fermenter, Microtox, respirometer, biosafety cabinet, glovebox, freeze-dryer, Zetasizer, LISST, microreactors, etc.

Physical simulation chambers/models

  • Batch-/bench-/pilot-scale reactors/tanks, incl. cohosting a 12m oil spill testing tank

Data/image processing tools and modeling software

  • BIOVIA Discovery Studio, Spartan'18, GNORM, OSCAR, MEDSLIK, LINGO/LINDO, ArcGIS, AutoCAD, Matlab, etc.

  • Integrated virtual reality system for simulation, training and research

Faculty of engineering

  • Towing/wave tank, deep-water tank, ice tank (w wind tunnel), cold room (-20°C; x3), AUV and gliders, etc.

Major Equipment 

Equipment

Function

Image*

Agilent 7890A - 5975C Gas Chromatograph Single Quadruple Mass Spectrometer System

Analysis of volatile compounds in complex samples

Agilent 8890 - 7000D Gas Chromatograph Triple Quadruple Mass Spectrometer System

Identify and quantify low-level analytes and unknown volatile components in complex samples

(Upcoming)

SRI 8610V Gas Chromatograph System

Analysis of volatile compounds in complex samples

Agilent 1260 Infinity/6420A QQQ Triple Quadruple High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometer System

Identify, quantify, and purify individual components from the mixture

(Upcoming)

Thermo Scientific iCE 3500 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

Analysis of single heavy/trace metals in liquid samples

Biotage Isolera One equipped with an Evaporative Light-Scattering Detector

Separation and purification of liquid analytes

Spectro Scientific InfraCal 2 ATR-SP Oil in Water/Soil Analyzer

Determine the sum of volatile petroleum hydrocarbons (VPH) and extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH)

Shimadzu TOC-L Total Organic Carbon Analyzer

Measure the total amount of carbon in organic compounds in water/wastewater

Thermo Scientific Dionex ASE 350 Accelerated Solvent Extractor System

Extract compounds from solid and semi-solid samples quickly with small solvent volume

Applied Biosystems QuantStudio 3D Digital PCR System

Precise and highly sensitive detection and quantification of nucleic acids

Modern Water Microtox Model 500 Analyzer

Detect toxic substances in water, air, soils, or sediments

Labconco FreeZone 6 Liter Benchtop Freeze Dryer

Low temperaure dehydraion for materials

Challenge Technology AER-208 Aerobic/Anaerobic Respirometer

Measure respiration rates of a living organism and investigate the factors affect respiration rates.

SEQUOIA Scientific LISST-200X Particle Size Analyzer

Measure particle size and concentration in rivers, streams, ports, harbors, coasts, and oceans

Malvern Nano ZS90 ZEN3690 Zetasizer

Measure the particle size and analyze particle mobility, charge (zeta potential), and the molecular weight of particles in solution

Quesant Q Scope 250 Atomic Force Microscope

Image matter at the nanoscale and is used to measure and localize adhesion strength, magnetic forces and mechanical properties

BioTek Synergy H1M Multi-Mode Microplate Reader

Quantification of different biological and chemical assays in a microplate

KRUSS DSA25S Drop Shape Analyzer (Equipped with Refrigerated/Heated Bath Circulator)

Determine the wettability of solids by the contact angle and surface tension of liquids

WorldViz Custom VR Research Suite

Integrated virtual reality system for environmental pollution simulation and emergency response training and research

(Upcoming)

Hansatech Handy PEA+ Chlorophyll Fluorimeter

Detect the chlorophyll fluorescence emission from a sample.

Soil Tank (3.6m L x 1.2m W x 1.8m H)

Physically simulate the transport and fate of oil and other pollutants in oil and groundwater; test diverse remediation technologies

Wave Tank** (13.0m L x 2.3m W x 1.7m H)

Simulate marine oil spills and conduct mesoscale and pilot-scale tests on oil spill response technologies

(* Photo credit: NRPOP lab)
(** Shared with C-CORE)