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Research Focus

My research focus is diverse and interdisciplinary. Given the history of my interdisciplinary research and diverse background I involve my undergraduate and graduate students in my research. This provides them with hands on experience on interdisciplinary projects and inculcates the sense of collaborative work with other scientists in different fields.

Chemistry Problems Research

Dr. Srinivasan detects different types of contaminants (organic, inorganic, microbial, nutrients etc.) in drinking water, surface, ground, sewage, and industrial wastewater   Potential student research may involve: 

  • Studying the effects of fracking on the concentration of arsenic, benzene, mercury, methane, carcinogens etc. in the Trinity and Woodbrine aquifers
  • Testing the efficiency of plant based polysaccharides in the bioremediation of waters contaminated by heavy metals
  • Assessing the efficiency of polysaccharide based flocculants in removal of coliforms and other microorganisms in contaminated waters throughout Texas 

First Year Research Experience (FRYE) Program

Dr. Srinivasan’s research for the FYRE program will focus on natural and modified biomaterials as treatment agents in the removal of nutrients from water and wastewater. The goal of this research is to use green materials and techniques in remediating water contaminated with nutrients like phosphates and nitrates. The significance of the research is to develop alternative eco-friendly materials with better water treatment qualities than the existing toxic materials used for treating water.

The research will focus on extracting materials from plants using standard methods. These materials will then be modified using some chemical methods to get new materials with improved properties and efficiency to remove nutrient contaminants like phosphates and Nitrates. The water used for testing the prepared materials will be lab made and live water samples collected from surface waters like lakes and rivers, wells and treatment plants. The water collected from surface water and wells will be characterized to know the physical and chemical properties.

The prepared materials will further be characterized using modern analytical techniques like Scanning Electron Microscopy, UV-VIS Spectroscopy, Viscosity and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). A series of lab-scale experiments will be performed with varying material doses, temperature and pH to see their effect on the water treatment efficiency of these materials. The results will then be published in a journal and presented at a scientific conference.