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Dr Yongqiang Liu 


Dr Yongqiang Liu's photo

Dr Yongqiang Liu is Lecturer in Environmental Engineering within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

My research focuses on sustainable wastewater treatment with concerns of greenhouse gas emission, water quality, and resource recovery

Dr Liu received her PhD in Chemical Engineering. After that, she worked as a research fellow and a Singapore Millennium Foundation (SMF) research fellow at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Subsequently, she worked as a senior research scientist at the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering, Singapore, before she joined the University of Southampton as a lecturer.

Dr Liu’s past research covers a wide range of topics from glycerol fermentation, pyrolysis and gasification of organic wastes, to wastewater treatment and resource recovery. She has undertaken many projects sponsored by the Singapore National Environment Agency, the Singapore Environment and Water Industry Programme Office, Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, National biofilm Innovation Centre, BBSRC/EPSRC NIBB. She also conducted projects from the industry for technology demonstration and scaling-up.

Dr Liu is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has published more than 70 peer-reviewed journal papers and a number of conference papers. She is the author of three book chapters on “Aerobic treatment of organic compounds in the wastewater”, “Biological phosphorus removal processes”, and “Combustion, pyrolysis and gasification of sewage sludge for energy recovery”.  Dr Liu is a technical reviewer serving for a number of international journals for years, and she is also a reviewer of research proposals for BBSRC, Royal Society and research councils in Canada, Finland and Croatia.

Research interests


Dr Liu is interested in biological wastewater treatment, resource recovery from wastewater and organic wastes, membrane technology for separation and environmental impact assessment of waste management processes. Consequently, her current research covers:

  • Development of innovative biological processes for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment
  • Nutrient removal and recovery from wastewater
  • PHA production from waste streams  
  • Sludge fermentation
  • Application of membrane technology for water/wastewater treatment and resource recovery
  • Mechanisms of bacterial aggregation, microbiology fundamentals and modern molecular microbial tools for the research of wastewater or water
  • Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of wastewater treatment processes

Please contact me if you would like to explore further research opportunities in the area of wastewater treatment or others.

Aerobic granular sludge
Coupled hydrogen and methane production from high strength wastewater
Hydrogen and methane
Municipal solid waste

Research group

Water and Environmental Engineering Group

Research project(s)

Aerobic granular sludge- formation mechanism, application and its scaling up

Aerobic granular sludge is a novel technology for biological wastewater treatment. This project studies the formation mechanism of aerobic granules, application of aerobic granular sludge for treating different types of wastewaters and scaling up this technology for commercialization.

Hydrogen and methane production from wastewater with microbial granular sludge

Hydrogen is a kind of clean energy carrier which is preferred and demanded in many areas especially with the rapid development of fuel cell for electricity generation. Utilizing wastewater as organic feedstock for hydrogen production through biological route is gaining importance due to the benefits of simultaneous wastewater purification and renewable energy production in view of sustainable development. This project aims to develop a two-stage hydrogen and methane production process with microbial granular sludge.

EU - China Cooperation for Liquid Fuels

ECOFUEL is building an international partnership for new second generation biofuel processes: the research will set the foundation stones for the technologies being developed, and make further contributions to overcoming barriers to commercialisation. The ECOFUEL project will effectively integrate respective regional programmes for better allocation and utilisation of resources, in particular to achieve the critical mass required to move the second generation of biofuels forward.

Advanced Waste Gasification/Pyrolysis for Bio-energy (Bio-syngas or Bio-oil) Production

This project aims to develop a thermal technology to convert municipal solid waste (MSW) to bioenergy through advanced gasification and pyrolysis technology. Furthermore, the economics and efficiency of developed technology for bio-oil/syngas production from MSW are investigated to evaluate its feasibility in the practice.

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Book Chapters

CENV6085 – Waste Resources Management - Co-ordinator and lecturer

CENV3015 – Design 3 - Lecturer

CENV3059 – Urban Water and Wastewater Engineering - Lecturer

FEEG3003 – Individual Project - Supervisor

FEEG6012 – MSc Research Project - Supervisor


Dr Yongqiang Liu
Engineering, University of Southampton, Southampton Boldrewood Innovation Campus, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO16 7QF

Room Number : 178/5003/B1

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