Dr. Navarro eceived his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry at New York University. His doctoral research involved the unfolded state of small peptides. Since undergraduate student, he never resisted the temptation of working in Biotechnology. Now as an Assistant Professor at BMCC, Dr. Navarro is conducting research with talented BMCC students and colleagues from other colleges about bioremediation of environmental pollutants using biological wastes. Abel is aiming the use of low-cost, yet efficient, adsorbents of contaminants from wastewaters. Dr. Navarro is pleased to be part of this big and friendly family, as well as, pioneer the environmental research at BMCC.
Continuous-Flow Adsorption of Contaminants using Natural and Chemically Modified Hydrogels
Continuous-flow experiments are the most suitable techniques for the removal of pollutants from wastewaters. We use ligno-cellulosic materials that are encapsulated in hydrogel matrixes like chitosan and polyalginate to adsorption heavy metals, organic compounds (phenolics), PAHs and other contaminants.
Bioremoval of heavy metals by natural biopolymers.
Toxic and common metals like copper and zinc are always present in pipes and industrial wasterwaters. Most of these metals are transparent and cannot be detected by naked eye, which complicates their toxicity. Natural biopolymers are used for their adsorption in discontinuous experiments at room temperature. Time dependent experiments determine the efficiency and mechanism of the removal.
Preparation of soil conditioners from waste materials and eutrophicated waters
Eutrophication (algal bloom) is a major problem in the environment due to the presence of fertilizers (nitrate and phosphate) in high concentrations. Our goal is the sequestration of fertilizers (mainly phosphates) from eutrophicated waters using for the preparation of soil conditioners. These materials will be studied and modified to determine whether they exhibit removal of phosphates from eutrophicated waters (high phosphate levels) and release under different conditions (low phosphate levels).
Chemical sulfurization of natural polymers as an enhancement of adsorptive properties towards metal ions.
Incorporation of sulfur as a key element in the structure of well-known biopolymers promises an optimization in the adsorption of metal ions by complexation reactions and high affinity of metals towards sulfur. Recovery of the metals for the re-use of the adsorbent is one of the aims of the project.