What are you interested in?

All topics
Marine Environment
Nano Materials
Water Interactions
Water Managment
Chemical-free ozone integrated nanobubble for disinfection and to enhance the removal of VOCs in produced water from AWGs


Dec 28th, 2021
Chemical-free ozone integrated nanobubble for disinfection and to enhance the
  • AOPs
Aim: Develop a point of use (PoU) innovative approach to synchronize atmospheric water generators (AWGs) with ozone integrated nanobubbles (O3-NB) based hybrid technology to mineralize the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and enable disinfectant that persists in produced water from highly polluted atmospheric air (Highly polluted cities).
Objectives/challenges to overcome:
* Generate energy-efficient, cost-effective, and accessible nanobubbles by ultrasonic cavitation or external electric field. 
* Synchronize AWG with an ozone-nanobubble system with a physicochemical engineering perspective. 
* Investigation and designing the biochemical process while underpinning O3-NB science. 
* Mechanistic approach and understand the fate of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in synergetic effect with ozone and nanobubbles. 
Significance of Hybrid {O3-NBs} approach: Using nanobubbles as an ozone delivery mechanism proved increased retention time in the water, the increased surface area of bubbles increasing the contact area, increasing solubility due to high mass transfer area, and reducing the decomposition of ozone in water. 
Hybrid {O3-NBs} as aerosol droplet spray module: Ozone nanobubbles, which can also be delivered as an aerosol droplet spray module, a more feasible and economical method to ozonate, sterilize or disinfect properties in agriculture sectors (i.e., crop irrigation), aquaculture, horticulture. These ozone nanobubbles can also be mixed in bulk household water tanks to eliminate common bacteria and viruses. These ozone nanobubbles may function as ‘lifeguard to replenish solvated-ozone levels continually for hours, and their gradual shrinking and exhaustion over these much longer timescales. Therefore this “ozone gas propelled nano-bubbly” water promises to be chemical-free potent oxidation technology, effective than conventional chlorine-based disinfectant. 
Outcome: The techno-economical approach integrating {O3-NBs} hybrid technology to remove VOCs and disinfect bio-organism present in produced water from AWGs. Secondly, to boost the ability to store gas directly in aqueous solutions over months. In addition, it can boost several-fold dissolved-gas levels, resulting in greater capacities to treat produced water and enhance mass transfer.
Online database based on machine learning to predict the toxicity of pharmaceuticals and Transformation products (TPs) after AOPs


Dec 27th, 2021
Online database based on machine learning to predict the toxicity of
  • Water Managment
  • Water Managment

In the past decades, various treatments based on AOP, such as ozonation, peroxonation, and photocatalysis, have been developed to treat the persistent recalcitrant compounds (PrCs) in wastewater. In the initial stages, the disappearance of the parent compound was the priority, but later researchers understood the significance of the analysis of transformed products.  Uncertainty of the TPs formed after the AOP treatment process poses a barrier in understanding the efficiency of the process. In some cases, such as 17-β Ethyleneestradiol, diuron, erythromycin doxycycline on reacting with ROS resulted in a proportional loss of biological activity. TPs of Triclosan, ranitidine after oxidative treatment are more toxic than the parent compounds. TPs of very few PrCs were investigated in the whole universe of Compounds.  High-resolution LC-MS and GC-MS techniques in concomitant with data processing tools have been used to identify the TPs of several micropollutants. However, the selection of PrCs is random and very limited compared to the whole matrix of PrCs in the environment, and the number is increasing by the day. There is a severe gap in connecting the TPs and their toxicity which is essential to understand the efficiency of the wastewater treatment process. However, it is highly impractical and impossible to analyze all the existing PrCs.

Nevertheless, this study is essential as many countries adapt AOP-based wastewater treatment. Instead of selecting random PrCs, we focus on active functional moiety on the molecules responsible for toxicity. If we understand the fate of this moiety and toxicity of TPs prior to and after various treatments, the same pathway can be transferrable to all the molecules with similar moiety. We aim to create an online database connecting TPs' mechanistic pathways and toxicity after various AOPs for several active functional moieties. The first step is to select several active functional moieties in molecules responsible for toxicity which can be derived by pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of individual drugs. Analytical tools such as GC-MS, LC-MS, and NMR will be utilized to understand the fate and mechanistic pathways for the degradation of PrCs. Toxicity studies will be performed for the samples before and after treatment to understand the efficiency of the process. For example, in our laboratory, we have applied filtration,  biodegradation, UV photolysis, homogenous and heterogeneous ozonation to cyclophosphamide in which mustard structure is active moiety and created a database about the fate of TPs after each process. This database can be adapted to other compounds with a mustard structure such as chlorambucil, melphalan, mechlorethamine, isofomide, melflufen, Bendamustine, Estramustine, Uramutine. After collecting the data, an artificial logarithm model will be created, as shown in the Figure, which can provide the TPs and their toxicity after each treatment. We know that this study is exhaustive ad requires a lot of lab, manual, analytical, and software programming. However, this is essential as more and more countries adopt AOP-based treatments as secondary (or) tertiary treatment processes. Several case studies conducted in France, Italy, Germany proved that more information on the fate of PrCs after treatment is essential where wastewater reclamation is one of the significant sources of water. The AI database integrating mechanistic pathways of TPs and the toxicity of PrCs is highly beneficial to the scientific community in developing novel AOP technologies to treat PrCs and understand the efficiency of the developed process.

Catalytic ozonation for degradation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in wastewater


Dec 27th, 2021
Catalytic ozonation for degradation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in
  • AOPs
  • AOPs

Ozonation, due to its ease of implementation at full scale, broadband action against various classes of POPs, is one most adapted AOPs as a tertiary treatment applied in wastewater reclamation. Oxidation of PrCs by ozonation is achieved by direct oxidation of molecules by ozone or indirect oxidation via Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) produced by the ozone decomposition. Ozonation technology has been used as a disinfectant for several decades, and in recent years it is also being used to abate persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in secondary wastewater effluents. Many countries such as the USA, Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany employ ozone as secondary or tertiary wastewater treatment. These facilities use ozone alone or in combination with UV or membrane processes for disinfection and treating micropollutants in wastewater. Nevertheless, the economically relevant ozone doses do not mineralize the compound. Instead, various transformation products are formed—some transformed products found to be more toxic and less biologically active than the parent compound.

Our laboratory focused on identifying PrCs in wastewater and adapting various technologies from the past decade. We found cyclophosphamide (CYP), iohexol (IHX), valsartan (VAL), lamotrigine (LMG), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), bezafibrate (BZF) in wastewater at concentrations ranging from ppb-ppm. Ozonation and peroxonation (O3/H2O2) have been adapted to degrade the same in distilled water (DI) and simulated wastewater, and the results suggested that even though ozonation and peroxonation did not degrade, the compounds instead transformed to be more toxic and less biodegradable than the parent compound in some cases. These studies imply that conventional AOPs are not ideal for treating secondary or tertiary treatment of wastewater. Besides inefficient mineralization of pollutants, less solubility and stability of ozone pose limitations for applicability of ozone in wastewater treatment plants. Heterogonous catalytic ozonation overcomes these limitations via enhancing the catalytic decomposition of ozone-producing ROS. Furthermore, the catalyst should be cheap for real-time applications, abundant in the environment, and not cause secondary pollution.


  • Synthesis and characterization of catalyst based on nanomaterials
  • Studying the effect of ozonation and catalytic ozonation on the degradation of POPs and TPs.
  • Understanding the mechanism of degradation of POPs by proposed catalysts
  • Fabrication of catalyst into scaffolds by 3D printing. 
Investigating the Presence and Fate of Chromium Contamination in the Transboundary Hebron Stream


Dec 27th, 2021
Investigating the Presence and Fate of Chromium Contamination in the

In collaboration with Dr. Clive Lipchin, The Arava Institute

  • Water Managment
  • Water Managment

The heavy metal chromium is stable at several valence states. The predominant state found in nature, trivalent chromium Cr(III), is an essential micronutrient, but the second most stable valence state, hexavalent chromium Cr(VI), is highly genotoxic and carcinogenic. Redox reactions that lead to Cr(III)-Cr(VI) interconversions are common, however, the favored reaction is a reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) due to the greater reactivity of Cr (VI). The leather industry commonly uses trivalent chromium salts to tan animal hides, and oxidation of Cr(III) during this process or in the resulting wastewater could lead to the formation of Cr(VI) and introduction of both Cr(III) and Cr(VI) into the environment if tannery effluent is discharged without treatment or chromium removal. Further oxidation of Cr(III) to Cr(VI) by oxidizing agents present in the natural environment may occur.

            The Hebron stream is a transboundary ephemeral stream in Israel and the Palestinian territories that originates near the city of Hebron in the West Bank. The stream is highly polluted and receives year-round inputs of untreated sewage from Hebron city and contaminated effluents from the city’s industrial zone, including discharge from the tanning sector that contains significant levels of chromium. Previous studies conducted on the Hebron stream watershed have detected chromium in the waters and sediments of the stream, but have not attempted to characterize the valence state of this chromium or to explain the parameters and mechanisms governing its mobility and fate in the Hebron stream environment. Therefore, this research has attempted through fieldwork, lab analysis, and an in-depth literature review to detect and measure total chromium and Cr (VI) in the Hebron stream, and to explain the chemical mechanisms influencing the fate of chromium entering the stream.


  • No Cr(VI) detected in stream or in effluent from sampled tanneries; total Cr detected in stream water ranged from 10-230 μg/L, 35-159 μg/g for sediment, and 1-7 μg/g for plants.
  • Both stream water and tannery effluent possess characteristics that favor swift reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr (III) and precipitation or adsorption of Cr(III) compounds to the solid phase.
  • High organic load of untreated sewage from Hebron city drives reduction of any Cr (VI) present in tannery discharge when the two effluents mix in the central sewer system.
  • High concentrations of strong reductants such as iron and organic matter in both stream water and sediments contribute to the stream’s reducing environment.
  • Cr (III) in the stream likely absorbs to suspended sediment or organic matter or precipitates as solid Cr(III) compounds, and depending on stream flow and turbidity, then remains as a solid-phase constituent of the water column or settles to the stream’s sediment bed.

No Cr detected in three drinking and irrigation wells sampled during the study, indicating that Cr is likely not entering groundwater despite prior studies showing that Hebron stream water does percolate into surrounding aquifers.

Figure 1: (Left) Calcium carbonate particulate deposits from the stone-cutting industry line the stream banks – these particulates may act as an adsorbent of Cr (III) in the stream and can become a major sink for Cr when they settle on the stream bed or banks. (Right) A goat herd grazes on plants growing by the stream, some goats even drink from the stream. While eating the plants and drinking stream water exposes the goats to Cr, Cr (III) is not readily absorbed in the GI tract and acidic conditions of the stomach would quickly reduce any Cr (VI) to Cr (III). (November, 2020).​​

The impact of light pollution on coral reefs


Dec 27th, 2021
The impact of light pollution on coral reefs

In collaboration with Prof. Oren Levi, Faculty of life science, Bar-Ilan Univesity

  • Marine Environment
  • Marine Environment

Artificial light at night is one of the anthropogenic pollutants that influences many organisms on land and in the aquatic environment, this research show for the first time the impact of ALAN (Artificial Light at Night) on coral reproduction. The sources of artificial light at night in marine environments comes from building, streetlight, ports, piers, and oil rig, this interferes with the natural light cycles of the moon and the stars that are critical for marine organisms' behavioral, physiological and biological processes.  The timing of broadcast or brooder spawning corals for releasing sperms, eggs, or planula plays a major role in fertilization success or settlement.

The objective of this study was to understand if ALAN with two different spectrums would affect the timing of spawning in corals.

Link to our paper in Current Biology

To determine the impact of ALAN on coral reef symbiotic algae we illuminated two species of isolated symbiodiniaceae cell cultures from the genera Cladocopium (formerly clade C) and Durusdinium (formerly clade D) with led light. Cell cultures were exposed nightly to ALAN levels of 0.15 μmol quanta m–2 s–1 (∼4–5 lux) with three light spectra: blue, yellow, and white. Our findings showed that even in very low levels of light at night, the photo-physiology of the algae’s Electron Transport Rate (ETR), Non-Photochemical Quenching, (NPQ), total chlorophyll, and meiotic index presented significantly lower values under ALAN, primarily, but not exclusively, in Cladocopium cell cultures. The findings also showed that diverse Symbiodiniaceae types have different photo-physiology and photosynthesis performances under ALAN. We believe that our results sound an alarm for the probable detrimental effects of an increasing sensory pollutant, ALAN, on the eco-physiology of symbiotic corals. The results of this study point to the potential effects of ALAN on other organisms in the marine ecosystems such as fish, zooplankton, and phytoplankton in which their biorhythms are entrained by natural light and dark cycles.

Link to our paper

Next, I will 1) measure stable isotopes of N15 and C13 in corals under light pollution. The aim is to understand if light pollution can affect corals' nutrition between autotrophs to heterotrophs.

2) Examine the effect of light pollution on coral reef sex steroid hormones E2. 



Water information


Dec 8th, 2019
Hydrogen as water information carrier
  • Water Interactions
  • Water Interactions

Electrically induced forces are playing a key role in biological systems, matching known theories of field-charge and field-dipole interactions. However, the specific interactions of induced and very low electromagnetic fields naturally present at the environment on living systems are not yet fully understood. The theory that in living systems have a certain coherent longitudinal electric modes are strongly excited, and stabilized by deformations arising from nonlinear effects was first subjected in the late sixties (Fröhlich, 1968). The sense of smell in that context is a great example of a biological sensor that can detect and diagnose an enormous number of airborne compounds. Odor vibrational theories trying to explain the elusive effects that cannot be explained by molecular structure alone.

Support to the existent of vibrational mode in living organisms at room temperature was recently published, using a large literature review Geesink (2016) shows that considering the effects of electromagnetic radiation on in vitro and in vivo life systems.  Hydrogen as the basic element has a key role for both biological and water structure, its ability to mediated from water to matter is important link between living matter, water, and waves was not yet specified. The main objective is to quantify the induced electromagnetic field and the vibrational modes in water and hydrogen, in particular, its function in transferring odor information and the effect on olfactory as a biological sensor.

Tel Aviv University makes every effort to respect copyright. If you own copyright to the content contained
here and / or the use of such content is in your opinion infringing, Contact us as soon as possible >>