Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty at the University of Delaware

Pei Chiu

468 ISE Lab
Newark, Delaware 19716
Phone: 302-831-3104
Research Website


1996 | Ph.D | Stanford University
1990 | Master | Stanford University
1987 | Bachelor | National Taiwan University


Pei Chiu is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware (UD). He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University. He joined the faculty at UD in 1996. He was a visiting Professor at ETH Zürich, Switzerland in 2018 and a Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN) Faculty Fellow from 2019 to 2020.

Chiu studies contaminant transformation in natural environments and engineered systems. His current research is concerned with the kinetics and mechanisms for the degradation of organic chemicals, such as munitions compounds. The understanding will allow us not only to predict the fate of these compounds in soil and groundwater but also to enhance their degradation in treatment and remediation systems. Another focus of Chiu’s work is the redox properties, such as reversible electron storage capacity (ESC), of biochar and other black carbon materials. The origin, size, distribution, and accessibility of ESC to solutes and microbes may have important implications for biogeochemistry as well as practical applications in environmental engineering.

Chiu is a member of the American Chemical Society. He received the NSF CAREER Award in 2000 and Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Engineering in 2003. He has developed a number of water and wastewater treatment technologies based on nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) and biochar. One of his technologies was selected by NASA Tech Briefs as one of the seven Top Inventions in 2007.


  • Environmental and Water Resources
  • Sustainability
  • Water


Xin, D., Barkley, T. and Chiu*, P. C. “Visualizing Biochar’s Electron Storage Capacity through in situ Formation of Silver Nanoparticles”, in review.

Murillo-Gelvez, J., Hickey, K. P., Di Toro, D. M., Allen, H. E., Carbonaro, R. F. and Chiu*, P. C. (2019) “Experimental Validation of Hydrogen Atom Transfer Gibbs Free Energy as a Predictor of Nitroaromatic Reduction Rate Constants” Environmental Science & Technology, 53(10), 5816-5827.

Chopyk, J., Kulkarni, P., Nasko, D. J., Bradshaw, R. N., Kniel, K. E., Chiu, P. C., Sharma, M., and Sapkota, A. R. (2019) “Zero-valent Iron Sand Filtration Reduces Concentrations of Virus-Like Particles and Modifies Virome Community Composition in Reclaimed Water Used for Agricultural Irrigation” BMC Research Notes, 12:223, 8 pp.

Saha, N., Xin, D., Chiu, P. C., Reza*, M. T. (2019) “Effect of Pyrolysis Temperature on Acidic Oxygen Functional Groups and Corresponding Electron Storage Capacities of Hydrochar” ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, 7, 8387-8396.

Kulkarni, P., Raspanti, G. A., Bui, A. Q., Bradshaw, R. N., Kniel, K. E., Chiu, P. C., Sharma, M., Sapkota, A. and Sapkota, A. R. (2019) “Zerovalent Iron-Sand Filtration Can Reduce the Concentration of Multiple Antimicrobials in Conventionally Treated Reclaimed Water” Environmental Research, 172, 301-309.

Xin, D., Xian, M. and Chiu*, P. C. (2019) “New Methods for Assessing Electron Storage Capacity and Redox Reversibility of Biochar” Chemosphere, 215, 827-834.

Tian, J., Jin, J., Chiu, P. C., Cha, D. K., Guo, M. and Imhoff*, P. T. (2019) “A Pilot-Scale, Bi-layer Bioretention System with Biochar and Zero-Valent Iron for Enhanced Nitrate Removal from Stormwater” Water Research, 148, 378-387.

Xin, D., Xian, M. and Chiu*, P. C. (2018) “Chemical Methods for Determining the Electron Storage Capacity of Black Carbon” MethodsX, 5, 1515-1520.

Saquing, J., Yu, Y.-H. and Chiu*, P. C. (2016) “Wood-Derived Black Carbon (Biochar) as a Microbial Electron Donor and Acceptor” Environmental Science&Technology Letters, in press. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00354
Yi, S., Witt, B., Chiu, P. C., Guo, M. and Imhoff, P. T. (2015) “The Origin and Reversible Nature of Poultry Litter Biochar Hydrophobicity” Journal of Environmental Quality, 44(3), 963-971.
Yu, Y.-H. and Chiu*, P. C. (2014) “Kinetics and Pathway of Vinyl Fluoride Reduction over Rhodium” Environmental Science&Technology Letters, 1(11), 448-452.
Chiu, P. C. (2013) “Applications of Zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) and Nanoscale ZVI to Municipal and Decentralized Drinking Water Systems – A Review” In: Novel Solutions to Water Pollution, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp.237–249.
Shi, C., Wei, J., Jin, Y., Kniel, K. E. and Chiu*, P. C. (2012) “Removal of Viruses and Bacteriophages from Drinking Water Using Zero-Valent Iron” Separation&Purification Technology, 84, 72-78.

Phillips, K. L., Sandler, S. I. and Chiu, P. C. (2011) “A Method to Calculate the One-Electron Reduction Potentials for Nitroaromatic Compounds Based on Gas-Phase Quantum Mechanics.” Journal of Computational Chemistry, 32(2), 226-239.

Phillips, K. L., Chiu, P. C. and Sandler, S. I. (2010) “Reduction Rate Constants for Nitroaromatic Compounds Estimated from Adiabatic Electron Affinities.” Environmental Science&Technology, 44(19), 7431-7436.

Yazdani, R., Mostafid, M. E., Han, B., Imhoff, P. T., Chiu, P. C.,  Augenstein, D., Kayhanian, M. and Tchobanoglous, G. (2010) “Quantifying Factors Limiting Aerobic Activity During Aerobic Bioreactor Landfilling” Environmental Science&Technology, 44(16), 6215-6220.

Oh, S. Y. and Chiu, P. C. (2009) “Graphite- and Soot-Mediated Reduction of 2,4-Dinitrotoluene and Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine” Environmental Science&Technology, 43(18), 6983–6988.
Oh, S. Y., Chiu, P. C. and Cha, D. K. (2008) “Reductive Transformation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene, Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine, and Nitroglycerin by Pyrite and Magnetite” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 158(2/3), 652-655.
Ye, J. and Chiu, P. C. (2006) “Transport of Atomic Hydrogen through Graphite and Its Reaction with Azoaromatic Compounds.” Environmental Science&Technology, 40(12), 3959-3964.
Oh, S. Y., Lee, J., Cha, D. K. and Chiu, P. C. (2006) “Reduction of Acrolein with Elemental Iron: Kinetics, Pathway, and Enhanced Biodegradation” Environmental Science&Technology, 40(8), 2765-2770.
Zhang J., Joslyn, A. and Chiu, P. C. (2006) “1,1-Dichloroethene as the Predominant Intermediate of Microbial Trichloroethene Reduction” Environmental Science&Technology, 40(6), 1830-1836.
Son, A., Lee, J., Chiu, P. C. and Cha, D. K. (2006) “Microbial Reduction of Perchlorate with Zero-Valent Iron.” Water Research, 40(10), 2027-2032.
Saxe, J. R., Lubenow, B. L., Chiu, P. C., Huang, C.-P. and Cha, D. K. (2006) “Enhanced Biodegradation of Azo Dyes Using an Integrated Elemental Iron-Activated Sludge System: I. Evaluation of System Performance” Water Environment Research, 78(1), 19-25.
Oh, S. Y., Chiu, P. C., Kim B. J. and Cha, D. K. (2005) “Zero-Valent Iron Pretreatment for Enhancing the Biodegradability of RDX” Water Research, 39(20), 5027-5032.
You, Y., Han, J., Chiu, P. C. and Jin, Y. (2005) “Removal and Inactivation of Waterborne Viruses Using Zero-Valent Iron” Environmental Science&Technology, 39(23), 9263-9269.
Oh, S. Y., Cha, D. K., Kim, B. J. and Chiu, P. C. (2005) “Transformation of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), Octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), and Methylenedinitramine (MDNA) with Elemental Iron” Environmental Toxicology&Chemistry, 24(11), 2812-2819.
Jafarpour, B., Imhoff, P. T. and Chiu, P. C. (2005) “Quantification and Modeling of 2,4-Dinitrotoluene Reduction with High-Purity and Cast Iron” Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 76(1&2), 87-107.
Oh, S. Y., Cha, D. K., Kim B. J. and Chiu, P. C. (2004) “Reduction of Nitroglycerin with Cast Iron: Pathway, Kinetics, and Mechanisms” Environmental Science&Technology, 38(13), 3723-3730.
DiFrancesco, A. M., Chiu, P. C., Standley, L. J., Allen, H. E. and Salvito, D. (2004) “Dissipation of Fragrance Materials in Sludge-Amended Soils” Environmental Science&Technology, 38(1), 194-201.
Oh, S. Y., Chiu, P. C., Kim B. J. and Cha, D. K. (2003) “Enhancing Fenton Oxidation of TNT and RDX through Pretreatment with Zero-Valent Iron” Water Research, 37(17), 4275-4283.
Imhoff, P. T., Jakubowitch, A., Briening, M. L. and Chiu, P. C. (2003) “Partitioning Gas Tracer Tests for Measurement of Water in Municipal Solid Waste” J. Air&Waste Manage. Assoc., 53(11), 1391-1400.
Oh, S. Y., Cha, D. K. and Chiu, P. C. (2002) “Graphite-Mediated Reduction of 2,4-Dinitrotoluene with Elemental Iron” Environmental Science&Technology, 36(10), 2178-2184.
Perey, J. R., Chiu, P. C., Huang C. P. and Cha, D. K. (2002) “Zero-valent Iron Pretreatment for Enhancing Biodegradability of Azo Dyes” Water Environment Research, 74(3), 221-225.
Oh, S. Y., Cha, D. K., Kim B. J. and Chiu, P. C. (2002) “Effect of Adsorption to Elemental Iron on the Transformation of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene and Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine in Solution” Environmental Toxicology&Chemistry, 21(7), 1384-1389.
Lampron, K. J., Chiu, P. C. and Cha, D. K. (2001) “Reductive Dehalogenation of Chlorinated Ethenes with Elemental Iron: the Role of Microorganisms” Water Research, 35(13), 3077-3084.
Chiu, P. C. and Lee M. (2001) “2-Bromoethanesulfonate Affected Bacteria in a Trichloroethene-Dechlorinating Culture” Applied&Environmental Microbiology, 67(5), 2371-2374.

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