Prof Lo and Team’s Critical Review Paper Awarded in Best Papers Awards by Premier Journal

A critical review paper, authored by Professor Irene LO, Chair Professor of CIVL (and IAS), and her team comprising Drs. Baile WU, Jun WAN, Yanyang ZHANG, in collaboration with Prof. Bingcai PAN of the School of Environment at Nanjing University, has been deemed by the prestigious academic journal Environmental Science and Technology (ES&T) as one of the best papers published in 2020. Said paper, entitled Selective Phosphate Removal from Water and Wastewater using Sorption: Process Fundamentals and Removal Mechanisms” was awarded First Runner-Up in the “Feature/Critical Review” category in ES&T’s Best Papers of 2020 Awards.

Prof. Lo and her team’s paper focuses on the most fundamental aspects of selective phosphate removal technology. Phosphorus is a common constituent of agricultural fertilizers and organic wastes in sewage and industrial effluent. It is an essential element for plant life, but when there is too much of it in water, it can lead to eutrophication (a reduction in dissolved oxygen in water bodies caused by an increase of mineral and organic nutrients) of rivers, lakes and other bodies of water, potentially leading to severe environmental problems. Prof. Lo and her team’s research in phosphate (phosphorus compounds) removal endeavors to tackle such problem of eutrophication of water bodies, and their award-winning paper highlights the latest developments of phosphate-selective sorbents, as well as discusses and offers tremendous insights into the mechanisms and parameters of phosphate sorption, contributing greatly to the efficacy and practicality of the technology.

According to ES&T, during 2020, approximately 1,700 manuscripts were published in the journal, “sharing novel and impactful research accomplishments across a broad and interdisciplinary range of environmental science and technology areas.” ES&T attributes such sheer productivity to the “determination of [the environmental science and technology] community to continue to research, innovate, and publish despite the many constraints,” and calls the determination “inspirational.” Indeed, the COVID-stricken 2020 was a momentously challenging year for many on numerous levels, and to have persevered, not only overcoming all obstacles but also producing such excellent output that stands out amidst what is an outstanding academic community, is truly remarkable.

ES&T is a preeminent academic journal of the field of environmental science and engineering, having published research papers and made significant impact to the academia for more than 50 years. We here at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of UST are immensely proud of Prof. Lo’s continued dedication to teaching and research excellence, and we join ES&T as well as ACS Publishing (of the American Chemical Society, who publishes the journal) in saluting and congratulating Prof. Lo and her team for the tremendous achievement and honor.


The full manuscript of the paper can be accessed here:

Professor LO and her team

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