Faculty - Hassan

Ashraf Aly Hassan, Research Assistant Professor

Ashraf Hassan

Ashraf Aly Hassan
Research Assistant Professor

Civil Engineering
Office: 402-472-8759
Hassan's webpage

Research Areas

Fate & transport of engineered nano-particles in the environment (water, soil, and air); emission control technologies; biological treatment of recalcitrant air toxics; use of innovative technology in atmospheric and indoor air pollution control, treatment, fate, transport of emerging contaminants; advanced water/wastewater treatment processes development

Google scholar page


Ashraf has two patents and over 40 peer reviewed publications. He has been the recipient of two prestigious Air and Waste Management Association awards, Feldstein memorial scholarship, and the 2011 PhD dissertation award, among others.

Academic Degrees

  • University of Cincinnati: Ph.D. Environmental Engineering (2010)
  • Wageningen University: M.Sc. Urban Environmental Management (2004)
  • Cairo University: B.Sc. Civil Engineering (2000)

Academic Research Skills

  • Experimental design and operations for biological treatment of gaseous pollutants including EPA standard test methods.
  • Modeling of air pollutants: Air dispersion modeling using AERMOD and on-road emission modeling using MOVES.
  • Regulatory perspectives of air pollution & process design of air control equipment through various practical experience.


  • Over 15 years of experience with an emphasis on air quality.
  • Licensed professional engineer in Nebraska.
  • Served as R&D team leader at BioAir Solutions LLC.
  • Wrote air pollution permits for high profile industries at NDEQ.
  • ORISE post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory.

Research Interests

Biological Treatment of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)
  • Hydrophobic & chlorinated emissions in biofilter & bioscrubber
  • Aerobic, anaerobic & anoxic operation: gas & liquid analysis.
  • Incorporate/integrate advanced oxidation techniques (hybrid)
  • Ethanol plants, Pulp and paper industry
  • Synthetic organic chemical manufacturing
Odor treatment of sulfuric and nitrogenous compounds
  • Quantification & autotrophic treatment: reduced sulf. compounds
  • Total odor studies: source identification, sampling, fenceline measurements, simulations, and concentration predictions.
  • Wastewater treatment plants, Composting Rendering Industry, CAFOs
Mercury Adsorption of on activated carbon & zeolite
  • Application for coal power plants
Membrane separation for treatment of air pollutants
  • Membrane bioreactors for air pollutants
Patented biological saltwater desalination using Algae
  • Production of biofuels & hydrogen gas as byproducts
  • Effectively combat global warming via proper reactor design
Intensify methane generation within anaerobic digestion
  • Pretreatment\concurrent sulfur\hydrogen sulfide treatment.
Fate and transport of nanoparticles (NPs) in soil
  • Computational fluid dynamics modeling FLUENT (chemical trans)
  • Adsorption/interaction NPs & biofilm: Laser confocal microscopy
On-Road & stationary air pollution emissions modeling
  • Air modeling using AERMOD, AERSCREEN, MOVES etc.

Examples of Recent Peer-Reviwed Publications

  1. Li, Z., E. A. Aly Hassan, Sahle-Demessie, and G. Sorial (2013). "Transport of nanoparticles with dispersant through biofilm coated drinking water sand filters." Water Research 47(17): 6457-66.
  2. El Badawy, A.; Aly Hassan, A.; Schekel, K. G.; Suidan, M., T.; Tolaymat, T. M. (2013). “Key Factors Controlling the Transport of Silver Nanoparticles in Porous Media”. Environmental Science and Technology 47(9): 4039-45.
  3. A. Aly Hassan, Li, Z., E. Sahle-Demessie and G. Sorial (2013). "Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of Transport and Retention of Nanoparticle in Saturated Sand Filters." Journal of Hazardous Materials 244-245(2013): 251-258.
  4. Aly Hassan, A. and G. Sorial (2011). "Treatment of dynamic mixture of hexane and benzene vapors in a trickle bed air biofilter integrated with cyclic adsorption/desorption beds." Chemosphere 82(4):521-528.
  5. Aly Hassan, A. and G. Sorial (2010). "Removal of benzene under acidic conditions in a controlled trickle bed air biofilter." Journal of Hazardous Materials 184(1-3): 345-349.
  6. Aly Hassan, A. and G. A. Sorial (2010). "A comparative study for destruction of n- hexane in trickle bed air biofilters." Chemical Engineering Journal 162(1): 227-233.
  7. Aly Hassan, A. and G. Sorial (2009). "Biological treatment of benzene in a controlled trickle bed air biofilter." Chemosphere 2009, 75, (10), 1315-1321.

Funding Grants

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency, PATHFINDER Invoation Projects (PI – Post-Doctoral Fellow): $100,000, “Innovative approach for biological treatment of hydrophobic chlorinated pollutants in water and gas streams under anoxic and anaerobic conditions” (https://www.epa.gov/innovation/pathfinder-innovation-projects-awardees-2011)
  2. US Environmental Protection Agency, PATHFINDER Innovation Projects (PI – Post-Doctoral Fellow): $100,000, “Biological desalination of seawater: Innovative approach for biological treatment of seawater using algae” (https://www.epa.gov/innovation/pathfinder-innovation-projects-awardees-2012)
  3. National Science Foundation (PI: G. Sorial, 50% effort in writing – Graduate Student): $326,500, "A Novel Integrated Scheme for Treating Hydrophobic Air Contaminants" (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0852803)


  1. Methods and apparatus for Removal and treatment of trihalomethanes resulting from disinfection of drinking water using integrated anaerobic biodegradation and zero valent iron (US Patent, Submitted to the EPA Office of General Council)
  2. Biological desalination of seawater Innovative approach for biological treatment of seawater using algae (US Patent, Submitted to the EPA Office of General Council)