Yanyan ZHANG, Ph.D.

Analysis and Degradation of Emerging Contaminants Lab


Email: zhangyanyan@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://environ-chem.lab.westlake.edu.cn/index.htm

yanyan zhang westlake university
yanyan zhang westlake university

Yanyan ZHANG, Ph.D.

Analysis and Degradation of Emerging Contaminants Lab


Email: zhangyanyan@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://environ-chem.lab.westlake.edu.cn/index.htm

"Looking forward to the bright future of Westlake University."


YANYAN ZHANG received her bachelor’s degree on Environmental Science in 2010 from Wuhan University. She earned her PhD degree on Environmental Geography in 2015 from Peking University. She also spent one year at the Connecticut Agricultural Experimental Station in US through a Joint PhD Program on Environmental Chemistry. From 2016 to 2020, she was a postdoc researcher working on Environmental Engineering at McGill University in Canada. Dr. Zhang joined the Department of Engineering as an Assistant Professor in February 2021. She works on Environmental Chemistry and Engineering.


Emerging contaminants have long been an environmental and public concern because of their prevalence, persistency, bioaccumulation potential, and adverse health effects despite their overall low concentration in the environment. Dr. Zhang efforts in combining experimental investigations and theoretical calculations to elucidate the degradation of emerging contaminants and to develop innovative materials and processes for water treatment and site remediation. Her research aims to address the environmental issues of emerging contaminants, including analytical techniques based on HRMS, environmental fate and adverse effects, degradation mechanisms and reaction pathways, and cost-effective remediation technologies.  Dr. Zhang has coauthored over 50 peer-reviewed journal papers, including Environmental Science & Technology, The Science of the Total Environment, Environmental Pollution.  

Our research is focused on the environmental fate and degradation of emerging contaminants, which covers several aspects in the area of Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, including but not limited to:

(1)Occurrence, environmental fate, and risk assessment of emerging contaminants (PFASs)

(2)Target and nontarget analysis techniques

(3)Transformation and degradation of PFASs

(4)Quantum chemistry calculations on chemical reactions and chemical surface interactions

(5)Dechlorination and defluorination (PFASs, PPCPs) by functionalized zerovalent iron (nZVI)

(6)Microbial degradation of emerging contaminants

(7) Life cycle assessment (LCA) and simulations on the transport and multi-media distribution of organic contaminants

We are now recruiting PhD students and postdoc researchers. Please email me at zhangyanyan@westlake.edu.cn if you are interested to join us! We welcome young scholars with background on Environmental Chemistry and we are particularly interested in candidates with expertise in DFT calculations, HRMS, advanced oxidation and reduction, catalysis, and functionalized materials.

Our PhD program is in collaboration with Zhejiang University and Fudan University and the students are recruited through “application-and-review” process. The application is open in March, August, and November each year.

Please pay attention to the Admission Guides at https://www.westlake.edu.cn/admissions_aid/graduate/

Representative Publications

(1) Zhang, Y. Y. *; Liu, J.X.; Ghoshal, S.; Moores, A.* Density functional theory calculations decipher complex reaction pathways of 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate to perfluoroalkyl carboxylates initiated by hydroxyl radical. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 24, 16655–16664.

(2)Garcia, A. N.#; Zhang, Y. Y.#; Ghoshal, S.; Feng, He.; O’Carroll, D. Recent advances in sulfidated zerovalent iron for contaminant transformation. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 13, 8464–8483.

(3) Zhang, Y. Y.; Ozcer, P.; Ghoshal, S. A Comprehensive assessment on the degradation of C1 and C2 chlorinated hydrocarbons by sulfidated nanoscale zerovalent iron. Water Res. 2021, 201,117328.

(4) Wang, W.; Zhang, Y. Y.*; D. W.; Tao, S. Water-induced release of recalcitrant polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from soil organic matter during microwave-assisted solvent extraction. Environ. Pollut. 2021, 284, 117493.

(5) Zhang, Y. Y.;Liu, J.X.; Moores, A.; Ghoshal, S. Transformation of 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate by cobalt (II) -activated peroxymonosulfate. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54, 4631−4640.

(6) Zhang, Y. Y.; Moores, A.; Liu, J.X.; Ghoshal, S. New insights into the degradation mechanism of perfluorooctanoic acid by persulfate from density functional theory and kinetics data. Environ. Sci. Technol.2019, 53, 8672−8681.

(7) Zhang, Y.Y.; Zhi, Y.; Liu, J.X.; Ghoshal, S. Sorption of perfluoroalkyl acids to fresh and aged nanoscale zerovalent iron particles.Environ. Sci. Technol.2018, 52, 63006308.

(8) Zhang, Y.Y.; Pignatello, J. J.; Tao, S. Bioaccessibility of PAHs and PAH derivatives in a fuel soot assessed by an in vitro digestive model with absorptive sink: Effects of aging the soot in a soil-water mixture.Sci. Total Envrion. 2018, 615, 169176.

(9) Zhang, Y.Y.; Pignatello, J. J.; Tao, S. Bioaccessibility of nitro-and oxy-PAHs in fuel soot assessed by an in vitro digestive model with absorptive sink.Environ. Pollut.2016, 218, 901908.

(10) Zhang, Y.Y.; Dong, S.; Wang, H.; Tao, S. Kiyama, R. Biological impact of environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (ePAHs) as endocrine disruptors. Environ. Pollut. 2016, 213, 809824.

(11) Zhang, Y.Y.; Pignatello, J. J.; Tao, S.; Xing, B. S. Bioaccessibility of PAHs in fuel soot assessed by an in vitro digestive model with absorptive sink: Effect of food ingestion. Environ. Sci. Technol.2015, 49 (24), 1464114648.

(12) Zhang, Y.Y.; Pignatello, J. J.; Tao, S.; Xing, B. S. Bioacessibility of PAHs in fuel soot assessed by an in vitro digestive model: Effect of including an absorptive sink. Environ. Sci. Technol.2015, 49, (6), 39053912.

(13) Zhang, Y.Y.; Ding, J.; Shen, G.; Zhong, J.; Wang, C.; Wei, S.; Chen, C.; Chen, Y.; Lu, Y.; Shen, H. Dietary and inhalation exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and urinary excretion of monohydroxy metabolitesA controlled case study in Beijing, China. Environ. Pollut.2014, 184, 515522.

(14) Zhang, Y.Y.; Lin, N.; Su, S.; Shen, G.; Chen, Y.; Yang, C.; Li, W.; Shen, H.; Huang, Y.; Chen, H. Freeze drying reduces the extractability of organochlorine pesticides in fish muscle tissue by microwave-assisted method. Environ. Pollut. 2014, 191, 250252.

Full list of publication can be found at: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?hl=en&user=PNVFltwAAAAJ