Eduardo Saez
Edwardo Saez
University Distinguished Professor

Research Area
Fate, transport and treatment of trace contaminants in water; transport of metal and metalloid contaminants by atmospheric dust and aerosol; rheology of complex fluids.

Research Group Summary (PDF)

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Educational Qualifications
•    B.Sc., Chemical Engineering, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela, 1978
•    M.S., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 1981
•    Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 1984

•   Fate and treatment of trace organic compounds in wastewater
Our research group is investigating the fate of trace organic compounds (TOrCs) when wastewater effluent is returned to the environment. The compounds under study include endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals, disinfection by-products and flame retardants, among others. Some of these compounds have important effects on ecological systems, even when present at concentrations of a few parts-per-trillion.

In one of our projects, we measure TOrCs in the Santa Cruz River, an effluent-dependent stream that receives effluent from two major wastewater treatment plants in Tucson. We analyze river water and sediments as functions of depth and distance from discharge points to investigate natural, in-stream attenuation mechanisms for TOrCs.

Our primary interest, however, is to determine how combinations of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) and soil infiltration processes can be optimized for efficient, low cost removal of TOrCs from treated wastewater. The AOPs under investigation include UV light/hydrogen peroxide treatment, indirect photolysis and Fenton’s oxidation. These processes are being studied both in pilot scale reactors and in laboratory scale reactors using solar light as the source of UV irradiation. We have developed mathematical models to predict AOP-dependent transformations of interest.  The disappearance of any trace contaminant for which there is a known rate constant for reaction with hydroxyl radical can be simulated in clean water.

•   Transport of metal and metalloid contaminants by atmospheric dust and aerosol
Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology.

Dust emissions and dispersion of contaminants from the Iron King mine tailings in Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computation fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic.

•    Annual Award for Excellence at the Student Interface, College of Engineering, University of Arizona. (2008-2012)
•    Outstanding Faculty Member, The University of Arizona Accolades (2010)
•    Distinguished Professor (since 2011)
•    ASEE Pacific Southwest Educator of the Year Award (2013)

Selected Publications
Rodríguez, M., J. Xue, L.M. Gouveia, A.J. Müller, A.E. Sáez, J. Rigolin and B. Grassl, Shear Rheology of Anionic and Zwitterionic Modified Polyacrylamides, Colloids and Surfaces A, 373, 66-73 (2011).

Ela, W.P., D.L. Sedlak, M. Barlaz, H. Henry, D. Muir, D. Swackhamer, E.J. Weber, R.G. Arnold, L. Ferguson, J. Field, E. Furlong, J. Giesy, R. U. Halden, T. Henry, R. Hites, K. Hornbuckle, P. Howard, R. Luthy, A. Meyer, A.E. Sáez, F. vom Saal, C. Vulpe and M. Wiesner, Towards Identifying the Next  Generation of Superfund and Hazardous Waste Site Contaminants, Environmental Health Perspectives, 119, 6-10 (2011).

Blowers, P., J.A. Field, K. Ogden, A.E. Sáez and R. Sierra, ChE at The University of Arizona, Chemical Engineering Education, 45, 2-7 (2011).

Arnold, R.G., J. Hayworth, A.E. Sáez, C. Rodriguez, P. Weinstein, B. Ling, S. Memon, The Status of Water and Sanitation among Pacific Rim Nations, Reviews on Environmental Health, 26, 17-30 (2011).

Csavina, J., A. Landázuri, A. Wonaschütz, K. Rine, P. Rheinheimer, B. Barbaris, W. Conant, A.E. Sáez and E.A. Betterton, Metal and Metalloid Contaminants in Atmospheric Aerosols from Mining Operations, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 221, 145-157 (2011).

Rojas, M.R., C. Leung, D. Whitley, Y. Zhu, R.G. Arnold and A.E. Sáez, Advanced Oxidation of Trace Organics in Water by Hydrogen Peroxide Solar Photolysis, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 50, 12479-12487 (2011).

Rivero, D., L.M. Gouveia, A.J. Müller and A.E. Sáez, Shear Thickening Behavior of High Molecular Weight Poly(Ethylene Oxide) Solutions, Rheologica Acta, 51, 13-20 (2012).

Rojas, M.R and A.E. Sáez, Two-Layer Model for Horizontal Pipe Flow of Newtonian and Non-Newtonian Settling Dense Slurries, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51, 7095-7103 (2012).

Csavina, J., J. Field, M.P. Taylor, S. Gao, A. Landázuri, E.A. Betterton and A.E. Sáez, A Review on the Importance of Metals and Metalloids in Atmospheric Dust and Aerosol from Mining Operations, Science of the Total Environment, 433, 58-73 (2012).

Beamer, P.I., C.E. Luik, L. Abrell, S. Campos, M.E. Martinez and A.E. Sáez, Concentration of Trichloroethylene in Breast Milk and Household Water from Nogales, Arizona, Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 9055-9061 (2012).

Sorooshian, A., J. Csavina, T. Shingler, S. Dey, F.J. Brechtel, A.E. Sáez, E.A. Betterton, Hygroscopic and Chemical Properties of Aerosols collected near a Copper Smelter: Implications for Public and Environmental Health, Environmental Science & Technology, 46, 9473-9480 (2012).

Arnold, R.G., A.E. Sáez, S.A. Snyder, S.K. Maeng, C. Lee, G.J. Woods, X. Li, H. Choi, Direct Potable Reuse of Reclaimed Wastewater— It Is Time for Rational Discussion, Reviews on Environmental Health, 27, 197-206 (2012).


University of Arizona College of Engineering