Abel Navarro

Picture of Abel E.    Navarro


EMAIL: anavarro@bmcc.cuny.edu

Office: N-699H

Office Hours: Thursday and Friday: 5-7pm (Spring 24)

Phone: +1 (212) 776-6885

Abel E. Navarro received 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 Bioremediation/Biosorption. Now as an Associate 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. Prof. Navarro is also the Club Advisor of Research and Nature Club, we meet every Wednesday from 2-3:30 in S721, please join us to interactive STEM discussions, hands-on demonstrations and interesting field trips.
Prior to joining BMCC, he worked as an adjunct at New York University, Hostos Community College and BMCC. Dr. Navarro is pleased to be part of this big and friendly family, as well as, pioneer the environmental research at BMCC.
In his free time, Dr. Navarro enjoys good movie nights, cooking, traveling around the world and practicing sports.


Environmental Science, Chemistry, Bioremediation


  • B.S. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Chemistry.
  • M.S. New York University, Chemistry.
  • Ph.D. New York University, Chemistry.

Courses Taught

Research and Projects

  • Bioremoval of antibiotics by natural biopolymers and their chemical modifications
    Toxic and common pollutants like pharmaceutical products like antibiotic and analgesics are always present in surface waters as a consequence of their widespread use. Most of these compounds 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. Adsorption capacity of these biosorbents are maximized by the chemical modification of their surface with sustainable reactions, including carboxylation, sulfonation, amination and thiolation.

  • Chemical sulfurization of natural polymers as an enhacenment 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.

  • Continuous-Flow Adsorption of Contaminants using Natural and Chemically Modified Hydrogels
    Ligno-cellulosic materials can be encapsulated in hydrogel matrixes like chitosan and polyalginate. Continuous-flow experiments are the most suitable techniques for the removal of pollutants from wastewaters. Filters of these hybrid materials will be prepared, followed by the adsorption of species like heavy metals, organic compounds (phenolics), PAHs and other contaminants.

  • 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. On the other hand, naturally-occurring materials have shown high affinity towards charged compounds. Our goal is the sequestration of fertilizers (mainly phosphates) from eutrophicated waters for the preparation of soil conditioners. These materials will be studied and modified to exhibit a good removal of phosphates from eutrophicated waters (high phosphate levels) and a good release under different conditions (low phosphate levels).


  • Navarro, AE., Chang, E., Chang, P., Yoon, S., Manrique, A. “Separation of dyes from aqueous systems by magnetic alginate beads”. 2013 ,Trends in Chromatography, 8, 31-41
  • Kim, T., Yang, D., Kim, J., Musaev, H., Navarro, AE. “Comparative Adsorption of highly porous and raw adsorbents for the elimination of copper (II) ions from wastewaters”. 2013 ,Trends in Chromatography, 8, 97-108
  • Jung, S., Naidoo, M., Shairzai, S., Navarro, AE. “On the adsorption of a cationic dye on spent tea leaves”.,Book Chapter in: Urban Water II, Edited by S. Mambretti and CA. Brebbia, WIT Press. Volume 139, 2014
  • Diaz, C., Jacinto, C., Medina, R., Navarro, A., Cuizano, N., Llanos, B. “Study of the biosorption of chromium (VI) on crosslinked-quaternary chitosan for their application on the bioremediation of wastewaters”.,Rev. Soc. Quim. Peru, 2013, 79(4): 304-318.
  • Zahir H, Naidoo M, Kostadinova R, Ortiz K, Sun M, Navarro AE. “Decolorization of hairdye by lignocellulosic waste materials from contaminated waters”.,Front. Environ. Sci. (2014) 2:28. doi:10.3389/fenvs.2014.00028
  • Bellatin, L., Herrera, O., Navarro, AE., Sun, R., Llanos, B., “Study on the biosorption of basic yellow 57 dye, basic blue 99 and acid red 18 from hair dyes onto green tea leaves”.,Rev. Soc. Quim. Peru, 2014, 80(1): 9-23
  • Navarro, AE., Lim, H., Chang, E., Lee, Y., Manrique A. Uptake of sulfa drugs from aqueous solutions by marine algae.,Sep. Sci. Technol., 2014, 49: 2175-2181.
  • Kostadinova, R., Sikorska, G., Naidoo, M., Navarro, AE. Acid-base properties of the adsorption of synthetic dyes from solutions.,J. Environ. Anal. Toxicol., 2014, 4:6 http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2161-0525.1000240
  • Musaev, H., Serrano, K., Masud, ME., Navarro, AE. Adsorption kinetics of cobalt (II) ions onto alginate beads from aqueous solutions.,J. Earth Sci. Climate Change, 2014, 5:8
  • Choi, Y., Isaac, P., Irkakhujaev, S., Masud, ME., Navarro, AE. Use of spent tea wastes-chitosan capsules for the removal of divalent copper ions,J. J. Environ. Sci., 1(1):3
  • Japhe, T., Paulsingh, R., Ko, K., Hong, J., Navarro, AE. Bioremoval of antibiotics by using hydrogel beads from aqueous solutions.,J. J. Environ. Sci., 1(1):2
  • Kim, M., Choi, Y., Fernandez, N., Sponza, A., Navarro, AE. Biosorption of phosphate by novel biomaterials: An asset against eutrophication of water resources.,Curr. Topics Biotechnol., 8, 25-34
  • Zarzar, A., Hong, M., Llanos, B., Navarro, AE. Insights into the eco-friendly adsorption of caffeine from contaminated solutions by using hydrogel beads.,J. Environ. Anal. Chem., 2015, 2:4.
  • Japhe, T., Zhdanova, K., Rodenburg, L., Roberson, L., Navarro, AE. Factors affecting the Biosorption of 2-Chlorophenol using spent tea leaf wastes as adsorbents.,J. J Environ. Sci., 2015, 1 (2): 010.
  • Sponza, A., Fernandez, N., Yang, D., Ortiz, K., Navarro, AE. Comparative Sorption of methylene blue onto hydrophobic clays.,Environments, 2015, 2, 388-398.
  • Navarro, AE., Hernandez-Vega, A., Masud, ME., Roberson, L., Diaz-Vasquez, L. Bioremoval of phenol from aqueous solutions using native Caribbean seaweed. Environments, 2017, 4,1-14.
  • Kim, G., Garcia, H., Japhe, T., Iyengar, R., Llanos, B., Navarro, A. On the desalination of saline waters via batch adsorption with spent tea. J. Pet. Environ. Biotechnol., 2017, 8:3.
  • Silva, J., Morante, L., Moreno, C., Navarro, AE., Llanos, B. Enhancement of the adsorptive properties of biomaterials by chemical modification for the elimination of antibiotics. Rev. Soc. Quim. Perú, 2018, 84(2), 183-196.
  • Ha, J., Japhe, T., Demeke, T., Moreno, B., Navarro, AE. On the removal and desorption of sulfur compounds from model fuels with modified clays. Clean Technol., 2018, 1, 58-69.
  • Silva, J., Morante, Demeke, T., Baah-Twum, J., Navarro, AE. Preparation and characterization of chemically-modified biomaterials and their application as adsorbents of Penicillin G. Clean Technol., 2018, 1(1), 114-124.
  • Iyengar, R., Faure-Betancourt, M., Talukdar, S., Ye, J., Navarro, AE. Optimizing spacer length positioning of functional groups in biowastes. Environments, 2018, 5, 100.
  • Naidoo, M., Zahir, H., Shairzai, S., Soliev, A., Navarro, AE. Spent chai tea as an adsorbent of cationic dyes: Equilibrium studies. Trends in Chromat., 2018, 12, 59-70.
  • Zhdanova, K., Szeinbaum, E., Lo, M., Jo, Y., Navarro, AE. Uptake of Co(II) ions from aqueous solutions by low-cost biopolymers and their hybrids. Current Topics Biotechnol., 2019, 12, 1-13.
  • Tesfagiorgis, K., Navarro, AE., Chen, BM., Herrera, N., Hernandez, J., González-Álvarez, A., Savane, OS. Simulations of breakthrough curves for fixed-bed column adsorption of cobalt (II) ions on spent tealeaves. Water Sci. & Technol., 2020, 81,11, 2410-2421.
  • Zerhouni, Y., Islam, MS., Elzoeiry, Z., Soliev, A., Navarro, AE. Sorptive removal of radioactive ions onto biopolymers from aqueous solutions. Current Topics Biotechnology, 2020, 11, 17-29.
  • Islam, MS., Elzoeiry, Z., Zerhouni, Y., Hernandez, J., Navarro, AE. Screening biological and non-biological materials for the biosorption of proteins. Trends in Physical Chemistry, 2020, 20, 127-141.
  • Nassar, M., Roytvayn, E., Bellatin, L., Sun, R., Navarro, AE. Eco-friendly adsorption of yellow hair dye from aqueous solutions onto spent green tea leaves. Current Topics in Biotechnol., 2022, 13, 55-66.
  • Efunnuga, A., Escriva, M., Shahrear, S., Ulay, A., Navarro, AE. Preliminary studies on the sorption of dibenzothiophene from synthetic fuels using fruit wastes. Current Topics in Biotechnol., 2022, 13, 105-114.
  • Nassar, M., Ulay, A., Shahrear, S., Roytvayn, E., Navarro, AE. Comparative biosorption of blue hair dye onto natural polysaccharides. Environ. Sustainability, 2023 https://doi.org/10.1007/s42398-022-00253-6

Honors, Awards and Affiliations

  • 2014 BMCC Presidential Scholars Program
  • 2013, 2017 BMCC Faculty Development Grant
  • QEM/CAREER NSF Workshop
  • 2015-2016 FINCyT-CONCYTEC
  • 2015-2016 C3IRG-Round 12
  • 2014 Salute to Scholars- CUNY Chancellor
  • 2015-2016 INNOVATE-CONCYTEC. Bioremediation of pharmaceutical products by chemically-modified materials
  • 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 PSC CUNY-TRAD A.
  • 2021,2022,2023 PSC CUNY-TRAD B.
  • 2017 BMCC Faculty Leadership Program
  • 2017 Research in the Classroom Grant
  • 2020 Climate Change Crisis Interdisciplinary Research Grant
  • 2020 Outstanding Chemistry Teaching Award in Two-Year College, New York section of the American Chemical Society

Additional Information

Current Members: Brandon Campos, Nancy Osei, Sophia Pisarevskiy, Monika Hossain, Shalaka Sitre, Marian Okofo (Spring-Summer 2024)

Former Members: Zehra Gulluce (Brooklyn College), Sarina Velez, Reem Ulay (CCNY), Cassandra Cordero, Adebayo Efunnuga (NYU), Enyani Roytvayn, Afaf Ulay (CCNY), Mohammadia Nassar (LIU Pharmacy), Marwa Mokky, Tahreem Bhatti, Marc Escriva (CCNY), Schidza Cime (CCNY), Shahrear Ridon (BYU), Younes Zerhouni (CCNY), Adkhamjon Soliev (Baruch College), Jassem Jahangir (Hunter College), Samirul Islam (LIU), Zead Elzoeiry (Hunter), Jesus Hernandez (CCNY), Saidakbar Irkakhujaev (Brooklyn College), Emran Masud (NYU), Minyeong Hong (US Army), Paul Isaac (LIU), Aharon Zarzar (School teacher), Gabrielle Jonny, Vincent Nsiah (SUNY), Habib Zahir (Med. School), San Shairzai (Hunter College), Humoyun Musaev (Med. School), Alvaro Sponza (SUNY grad school), Natalia Fernandez (Researcher at Columbia University), Rada-Mayya Kostadinova (Queens College), Michelle Naidoo (Ph.D student, CUNY), Karyna Serrano (SUNY Albany), Tasmiah Ahmed (LIU), Gabriela Sikorska (LIU), Karla Ortiz (Dent school), Jenish Karmacharya (NYU), Lianhua Shen (Georgia Tech), Roshana Paulsingh (John Jay College), Tenzing Japhe (Hunter College), Kateryna Zhdanova (NYU), Michelle Lo (Rutgers University), Hilario Garcia (Hunter College), Evelyn Szeinbaum (Bridgeport College), Gonzalo Navarrete (Hunter College), Angelika Kasabian (Hunter College), Nic Herrera (Yale University), Tesfamichael Demeke (Columbia University), Jacqueline Baah (NYU), Makini Valentine, Alika Esperson, Saleh Talukdar (Lehman College).

Motivated students are always welcome to join the research group. Send an e-mail to discuss about ongoing projects and schedules, two-semester commitment is required. Closed for the SP24. For FA19 enrollment, contact me early May.