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Dr. Younggy Kim

Associate Professor

Department of Civil Engineering

Canada Research Chair (II) Water and Health

Department of Civil Engineering

Biological Wastewater Treatment; Water Reuse; Physical/Chemical Water Treatment; Nutrient Recovery; Energy Recovery; Water Quality Sensors; Heavy Metal Removal; Anaerobic Digestion; Sludge Pre/Post-Treatment; Numerical Modeling; Microbial Electrochemistry; Ion Exchange Membrane; Salinity Gradient Energy; Point-of-Use Drinking Water Treatment
Areas of Specialization:
Research Clusters:
+1 905.525.9140 x 24802


My research group is currently investigating new wastewater treatment technologies for: (1) Nutrient removal/recovery; (2) Heavy metal removal; (3) Water reuse; and (4) Anaerobic digestion. We study bioelectrochemical systems and ion exchange membrane applications for energy-efficient recovery of nutrients from wastewater (e.g., source separated human urine, dewatering centrate). We also research bioelectrochemical systems for efficient separation of toxic heavy metals (e.g., cadmium, lead, chromium) from wastewater. Anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge is another key area in my research program. To improve biogas production and sludge stabilization, we look into kinetics of various biological reactions in thermophilic pretreatment of wastewater sludge. We are also developing new numerical models and sludge characterization methods for reliable prediction in wastewater sludge treatment.

My group also researches fundamentals of bioelectrochemical systems or microbial electrochemistry cells, such as (1) Electron transfer models; (2) Kinetic constant estimation; and (3) Bioanode sensors. We are currently developing reliable enzyme kinetic models to understand electric current generation by exoelectrogenic bacteria. We also work on estimating kinetic constants for the growth and decay of exoelectrogenic bacteria in microbial electrochemistry cells. Bioanode sensors are an emerging technology as a water quality monitoring tool because bioanodes can create measurable electric signals by exoelectrogenic bacteria and the bacteria are sensitive to various water quality parameters, such as readily biodegradable organics, heavy metals, and nutrients. We are focusing on eliminating and controlling the hysteresis effect which is known to be one of the main challenges for accurate bioanode sensor applications.


B.E., M.S. (Korea University) Ph.D. (Texas at Austin)




  • Yuan, P., Kim, Y. “Accurate and rapid organic detection by eliminating hysteresis in bioanode sensor applications” Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology 3 (2017) 905-910.
  • Asztalos, J. R., Kim, Y. “Lab-scale experiment and model study on enhanced digestion of wastewater sludge using bioelectrochemical systems” J Environ Informatics 29 (2017) 98-109.
  • Tawfic, A. F., Dickson, S. E., Kim, Y., Mekky, W., Gobara, M., Baraka, A. “Preparation and characterization of nickel hexacyanoferrate films for the removal of cesium ion by electrically switched ion exchange (ESIX) Solid State Electrochemistry 21 (2017) 2939-2946.
  • Yuan, P., Kim, Y. “Increasing phosphorus recovery from dewatering centrate in microbial electrolysis cells” Biotechnology for Biofuels 10 (2017) 1-8.
  • Huang, W., Kim, Y. “Electrochemical techniques for evaluating short-chain fatty acid utilization by bioanodes” Environmental Science Pollution Research 24 (2017) 2620-2626.
  • Colantonio, N., Guo, H., Kim, Y. “Effect of low cadmium concentration on the removal efficiency and mechanisms in microbial electrolysis cells” ChemistrySelect 1 (2016) 6920-6924.
  • Colantonio, N., Kim, Y. “Lead(II) removal at the bioanode of microbial electrolysis cells” ChemistrySelect 1 (2016) 5743-5748.
  • Wilson, E. L., Kim, Y. “The yield and decay coefficients of exoelectrogenic bacteria in bioelectrochemical systems” Water Research 94 (2016) 233-239.
  • Colantonio, N., Kim, Y. “Cadmium (II) removal mechanisms in microbial electrolysis cells” Hazardous Materials 311 (2016) 134-141.
  • Parr, J., Kim, Y. “Electrochemical silver dissolution and recovery as a potential method to disinfect drinking water to underprivileged societies” Environ Sci: Water Research Technol 2 (2016) 304-311.
  • Asztalos, J. R., Kim, Y. “Enhanced digestion of waste activated sludge using microbial electrolysis cells at ambient temperature” Water Research 87 (2015) 503-512.
  • Huang, W., Walker, W. S., Kim, Y. “Junction potentials in thermolytic reverse electrodialysis” Desalination 369 (2015) 149-155. [link]
  • Hou, Y., Zhang, R., Luo, H., Liu, G., Kim, Y., Yu, S., Zeng, J. “Microbial electrolysis cell with spiral wound electrode for wastewater treatment and methane production” Process Biochem 50 (2015) 1103-1109.
  • Tice, R. C., Kim, Y. “Influence of substrate concentration and feed frequency on ammonia inhibition in microbial fuel cells” Power Sources 271 (2014) 360-365.
  • Tice, R. C., Kim, Y. “Energy efficient reconcentration of diluted human urine using ion exchange membranes in bioelectrochemical systems” Water Research 64 (2014) 61-72.
  • Tice, R. C., Kim, Y. “Methanogenesis control by electrolytic oxygen production in microbial electrolysis cells” J. Hydrogen Energy 39 (2014) 3079-3086.
  • Walker, W. S., Kim, Y., Lawler, D. F. “Treatment of model inland brackish groundwater reverse osmosis concentrate with electrodialysis - Part III: sensitivity to solution composition and hydraulic recovery” Desalination 347 (2014) 158-164.
  • Walker, W. S., Kim, Y., Lawler, D. F. “Treatment of model inland brackish groundwater reverse osmosis concentrate with electrodialysis - Part II: sensitivity to voltage application and membranes” Desalination 345 (2014) 128-135.
  • Walker, W. S., Kim, Y., Lawler, D. F. “Treatment of model inland brackish groundwater reverse osmosis concentrate with electrodialysis - Part I: sensitivity to superficial velocity” Desalination 334 (2014) 152-162.
  • Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Simultaneous removal of organic matter and salt ions from saline wastewater in bioelectrochemical systems” Desalination 308 (2013) 115-121.
  • Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Microbial desalination cells for energy production and desalination” Desalination 308 (2013) 122-130.
  • Hatzell, M. C., Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Powering microbial electrolysis cells by capacitor circuits charged using microbial fuel cell” Power Sources 229 (2013) 198-202.
  • Davis, R. J., Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Increasing desalination by mitigating anolyte pH imbalance using catholyte effluent addition in a multi-anode, bench scale microbial desalination cell” ACS Sus. Chem. Eng. 1(2013) 1200-1206.
  • Wei, B., Takash, J. C., Zhang, F., Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Electrochemical analysis of separators used in single-chamber, air-cathode microbial fuel cells” Electrochimica Acta 89 (2013) 45-51.
  • Cusick, R. D., Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Energy capture from thermolytic solutions in microbial reverse-electrodialysis cells” Science 335 (2012) 1474-1477.
  • Nam, J.-Y., Cusick, R. D., Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Hydrogen generation in microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis cells using a heat-regenerated salt solution” Sci. Technol. 46 (2012) 5240-5246.
  • Kim, Y., Walker, W. S., Lawler, D. F. “Competitive separation of di- vs. mono-valent cations in electrodialysis: Effects of the boundary layer properties” Water Research 46 (2012) 2042-2056.
  • Kim, Y., Lawler, D. F. “Overlimiting current by interactive ionic transport between space charge region and electric double layer near ion-exchange membranes” Desalination 285 (2012) 245-252.
  • Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Hydrogen production from inexhaustible supplies of fresh and salt water using microbial reverse-electrodialysis electrolysis cells” Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 108 (2011) 16176-16181.
  • Kim, Y., Hatzell, M. C., Hutchinson, A. J., Logan, B. E. “Capturing power at higher voltages from arrays of microbial fuel cells without voltage reversal” Energy Environ. Sci. 4 (2011) 4662-4667.
  • Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Microbial reverse electrodialysis cells for synergistically enhanced power production” Sci. Technol. 45 (2011) 5834-5839.
  • Kim, Y., Logan, B. E. “Series assembly of microbial desalination cells containing stacked electrodialysis cells for partial or complete seawater desalination” Sci. Technol. 45 (2011) 5840-5845.
  • Kim, Y., Lawler, D. F. “Selectivity coefficients of cation-exchange membranes: Maximizing consistency and minimizing error amplification” Purif. Technol. 81 (2011) 357-362.
  • Kim, Y., Walker, W. S., Lawler, D. F. “Electrodialysis with spacers: Effects of variation and correlation of boundary layer thickness” Desalination 274 (2011) 54-63.
  • Kim, Y., Walker, W. S., Lawler, D. F. “The Painlevé equation of the second kind for the binary ionic transport in diffusion boundary layers near ion-exchange membranes at overlimiting current” Electroanal. Chem. 639 (2010) 59-66.

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Canada Research Chair Tier II in Water and Health