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Meng Wang

Meng Wang

Office Address: 
120 Hosler
Assistant Professor in Environmental Systems Engineering

PDF icon Curriculum Vitae (145.17 KB)
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Bioremediation
  • Resource Recovery
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst PhD in Civil Engineering 2013
  • Xi’an Jiaotong University MS in Environmental Engineering 2008
  • Zhengzhou University BS in Environmental Engineering 2005
John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering


Dr. Meng Wang is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Systems Engineering. Her research focuses on the environmental biotechnology for pollution control, resource recovery and environmental sustainability. She combines physical-chemical processes with biological process to improve the system stability and the resource recovery efficiencies. Her research uses experimental work and mathematical modeling to guide the design and operation of the treatment systems. She is interested in developing the innovative food-energy-water systems for resource recovery, public health and food security.

Research Projects: 

Combined ion exchange and biological processes for wastewater treatment
A major source of N is high ammonium strength wastewaters, such as industrial wastewaters (e.g. food processing, fertilizer, plastic industries), landfill leachate, source separated urine and centrate from anaerobic digestion. These wastewater streams are challenging and expensive to treat. Zeolites are natural hydrated aluminosilicate materials with a high affinity for ammonium ions. Zeolite can be used as the ion exchange media to mitigate the toxicity of ammonia to microorganisms. This study intends to combine the ion exchange with biological wastewater processes for high ammonium strength wastewater treatment and improve system stability. A mathematical modeling will be developed to improve the understanding of the underlying physical, chemical and biological mechanisms.

Algae-based wastewater treatment for nutrient management and resource recovery
Algae can improve biological wastewater treatment processes through synergistic interactions with prokaryotic microbial communities. In particular, algae can provide the dissolved oxygen required for aerobic heterotrophic metabolism and nitrification through photosynthesis. In addition, algal-prokaryotic biomass can be harvested and used for biodiesel or valuable chemical production or anaerobically digested for biomethane production. This study explores the impact of operational conditions on the microbial communities of algae-based wastewater treatment systems, and the potential of value-added product that can be extracted from harvested biomass.

The lead scavenger 1,2-dibromoethane (EDB), a former additive to leaded gasoline, is a common groundwater contaminant. However, not much knowledge is available for its targeted bioremediation, especially under in situ conditions. This study evaluated the co-substrate, such as phenol, on the enhanced biodegradation of low concentration of EDB in contaminated groundwater.

  • Wang, M., Payne, K., Tong, S. and Ergas, S (2018). Hybrid algal photosynthesis and ion exchange (HAPIX) process for high ammonium strength wastewater treatment. Water Research. 142: 65-74.
  • Wang, M., Keeley, R., Zalivina, N*., Halfhide, T., Scott, S., Zhang, Q., van der Steen, P., Ergas, S. (2018). Advances in algal-prokaryotic wastewater treatment: a review of nitrogen transformations, reactor configurations, and molecular tools. Journal of Environmental Management. 217: 845-857.

  • Wang, M., Lee, E., Dilbeck, M*, Liebelt, M.*, Zhang, Q. and Ergas, S. (2017). Thermal pretreatment of microalgae for biomethane production: experimental studies, kinetics, and energy analysis. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology.92:399-407.

  • Lee, E., Cumberbatch, J., Wang, M., and Zhang Q. (2017). Kinetic parameter estimation model for anaerobic co-digestion with waste activated sludge and microalgae. Bioresource Technology. 228: 9-17.

  • Amini, A., Aponte-Morales, V., Wang, M., Dillbeck, M.*, Manser, N., Zhang, Q., Cunningham, J., Lahav, O., Ergas, S. (2017). Cost-effective treatment of swine wastes through the recovery of energy and nutrients. Waste Management. 69:508-517.

  • Wang, M., Lee, E., Zhang, Q, and Ergas, S (2016). Anaerobic co-digestion of swine manure and microalgae Chlorella sp.: experimental studies and energy analysis. BioEnergy Research.9: 1-12.
  • Manser, N., Wang, M., Ergas, S., Mihelcic, J., Mulder, A., van de Vossenberg, J, van Lier J., and van der Steen, P.(2016) Biological nitrogen removal in a photo-sequencing batch reactor with an algal-nitrifying bacterial consortium and anammox granules. Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 3: 175-179.

  • Arashiro, L.*, Rada-Ariza, A., Wang, M., van der Steen P., and Ergas, S. (2016). Modeling shortcut nitrogen removal from wastewater using an algal-bacterial consortium. Water Science and Technology. 75: wst2016561.
  • Wang, M., Yang, H.*, van der Steen, P. and Ergas, S. (2015). A novel shortcut nitrogen removal process using an algal-bacterial consortium in a photo-sequencing batch reactor (PSBR). Water Research. 87: 38-48.
  • Wang, M. and Park, C. (2015). Investigation of anaerobic digestion of Chlorella sp. and Micractinium sp. grown in high-nitrogen wastewater and their co-digestion with waste activated sludge. Biomass and Bioenergy, 80: 30-37.
  • Wang, M., Kuo-Dahab, C., Dolan, S. and Park, C. (2014). Kinetics of nutrient removal and expression of extracellular polymeric substance by microalgae Chlorella sp. and Micractinium sp. in wastewater treatment. Bioresource Technology.154: 131-137.

  • Wang, M., Sahu, A., Rusten, B. and Park, C. (2013). Anaerobic co-digestion of microalgae Chlorella sp. and waste activated sludge. Bioresource Technology.142: 585-590.
  • Baek, K., Wang, M., McKeever, R., Rieber, K., Park, C., and Nüsslein, K. (2013). Biodegradation of low concentrations of 1,2-dibromoethane in groundwater is enhanced by phenol. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 98: 1329-1338.

  • Yuan, X., Wang, M., Park, C., Kumar, A, Sahu, A., Ergas, S. (2012). Microalgae growth using high- strength wastewater followed by anaerobic co-digestion. Water Environment Research. 84: 396-404