Welcome to the Department of Environmental Sciences
Environmental Sciences and Bioenvironmental Engineering Laboratories:
Four teaching laboratories are available.
Soil Laboratory: The soils laboratory is equipped with balances, ovens, pH and electrical conductivity meters, hydrometers to measure particle size distribution, and a set of sensors to measure water content and pressure potential in soil with data loggers to automatically record the results. In addition, the lab is equipped with two pressure extractors and an automatic system to measure water retention curves, and with two types of infiltrometers that can be connected to data loggers for automatically quantifying water movement through soils and sediments.
Unit Process Laboratories: Two process laboratories have all necessary analytical facilities for characterizing and quantifying physical, chemical and biological processes in both natural and engineered systems. There are two gas chromatography systems equipped with Flame Ionization or Electron Capture Detector and an autosampler. There is a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system and an ion chromatography system (with electrochemical suppression) which include an optional fraction collector for prep-scale LC work, including gel permeation chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. The laboratories also house a UV-visible spectrophotometer.
For the physical-chemical unit process laboratory, a computer-controlled flow-through reactor system with multiple sensors allows demonstration and data acquisition of different physical and chemical processes in a plug flow reactor (PFR), a completely mixed flow reactor (CMFR), CMFRs in series, and other combined reactors commonly used in water and wastewater treatment. Two jar test systems allow students to learn physical and chemical principles governing particle-particle interactions and removal of colloids from water. Bench scale batch reactor systems and analytical instruments are available for characterizing chemical reactions, ion exchange, and adsorption processes. A supercritical CO2 extractor is used for demonstration of activated carbon regeneration in the physicochemical unit operation laboratory course and extraction of organic pollutants (e.g., PAHs and PCBs) from soil and sediment matrices in the environmental analytical chemistry course. Computer software packages for activated carbon adsorber design, air stripper design, and modeling of pollutant distributions among multi-media are available for the physicochemical unit process course.
For the biological unit process course, a field assessment of water quality in stormwater ponds is conducted using wet laboratory and Hach Kit methods such as chemical oxygen demand, biochemical oxygen demand, bacterial indicator plate counts and nitrogen species analysis. A module on anaerobic digestion process optimization is carried out in small-scale serum bottle reactors with the use of gas chromatography to quantify methane production and HPLC to quantify volatile acids. A bioremediation project on reductive dechlorination is conducted using field samples, microcosms, gas chromatography to detect dechlorination products and molecular methods to detect dechlorinating bacteria. One laboratory is fully equipped to carry out state-of-the-art microbiological and molecular analyses including high-quality, phase-contrast microscopes for enumeration and identification of microbes, a complete molecular-biology station including a 24-well thermo-cycler for PCR, gel electrophoresis apparatus, and a UV light box with camera for visualizing DNA. Air Sampling and Analysis Laboratory: The Air Sampling and Analysis Laboratory provides students with experience in ambient and indoor air sampling. It is equipped with flow measurement devices (i.e., wet test meter, dry gas meter, bubble calibrator, mass flow meter, rotameters, S-type and regular pitot tubes), particle samplers (i.e., Button inhalable aerosol sampler, IOM inhalable aerosol sampler, PM2.5 impactor, cyclone), particle measurement instruments (i.e., optical particle counter, condensation particle counter, aerosol mass photometer) and bioaerosol samplers (i.e., 1-stage Anderson impactor, 6-stage Anderson impactor, portable bioaerosol sampler). Gases are analyzed by Draeger tubes and an IAQ RAE gas monitor.
Instructional Computing Facilities:
The computing facilities consist of three main components: Departmental administrative/educational servers and workstations and storage, instructional computing facilities, and the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction (CEP). All systems have access to the Rutgers network, the internet, and the high speed research network, internet2.
Instructional computing facilities include an Instructional Computing Lab (ICL), a BioEnvironmental Engineering Computer Lab, as well as several labs and classrooms with lcd projectors, audio and video equipment, instructor computers, and associated software and support. The ICL and teaching labs and classrooms contain 25 computers for students to meet educational and research objectives for classes, for general use outside of classes, and for faculty and students to make presentations. The BioEnvironmental Engineering Computer Lab also includes the software AutoCAD, HydroCAD, ArcGIS and SimaPro. Printers, a scanner, and a large format poster printer are available. Research groups have access to HPC computing clusters and servers used in the modeling, computation, display, and analysis of research data.