Environmental Sciences and Environmental Engineering Laboratories


Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering (RWH)

Soil Mechanics Research Laboratory

Covers practical aspects of testing and assessing mechanical properties of soils. It covers applications of testing principles to measure fundamental aspects of soil behavior, ranging from classification to engineering properties. Main tests conducted as a part of the laboratory include: description and identification of soils (visual manual procedure); determining the moisture content of soil (convention and microwave oven methods); determining the specific gravity of soil; determining the liquid limit, plastic limit and plasticity index of soil; grain size analysis of soil; soil permeability, compressibility and strength, and more. 

Urban and Coastal Water System Laboratory (Fluid Mechanics Lab, Hydro-environmental Informatics Lab)

Urban and Coastal Water System Laboratory, consisting of fluid mechanics lab and hydro-environmental informatics lab, is dedicated to addressing water resources engineering challenges through fundamental and applied research taking the advantage of our advanced lab, field, and computational facilities. The Fluid Mechanics Lab is equipped with a hydraulic, wave, and sediment flume, hydrology apparatus, volumetric hydraulic benches with a variety of experimental modules, various field flow and water quality monitoring devices, and a stormwater green infrastructure testing platform. The Hydro-environment Informatics Lab houses environmental modeling and informatics facilities with access to the leading-edge computational clusters, a real-time environment monitoring center, and a sensor fabrication space with testing equipment. Please direct questions about the laboratory and potential collaborations to Dr. George Guo (Fluids Lab) at qguo@rutgers.edu or Dr. Roger Wang (Hydro-environment Informatics Lab) at rq.wang@rutgers.edu.

Environmental Engineering Biochemical Process Lab and Water Chemistry Research Lab

This laboratory (RWH 319/323) is equipped for performing the analysis of water and wastes and the unit processes associated with treatment. Molecular level and advanced analytical chemical measurements are available for complex environmental samples, including water and air matrices. The microbiological equipment includes a cell homogenizer for DNA extraction, quantitative PCR (qPCR), PCR, fluorescent microscope, microcentrifuge, electrophoresis equipment, gel imager, and constant-temperature water baths.  Tools for cultivating microbes include an anaerobic chamber, laminar flow hoods, shaking and walk-in incubators, and an annular biofilm reactor.  Analytical chemistry equipment includes high-pressure liquid chromatograph (HPLC) with UV detection, a total carbon/total nitrogen analyzer, pH meters, field meters for conductivity/pH/ORP, chemical fume hood, drying and annealing ovens, centrifuge, mixing devices, chemical metering pumps, spectrophotometers (including Hach), and turbidimeters. A variety of field sampling equipment, devices to simulate unit processes (e.g., jar test apparatus, annular biofilm reactor), and refrigerated storage is available.  Please direct questions about the laboratory and potential collaborations to Nicole Fahrenfeld, PhD at nfahrenf@rutgers.edu.

Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences (ENR) Building

Environmental Engineering Process Laboratories (203/205)

These laboratories are equipped to establish, monitor and analyze physical, chemical and biological processes in engineered and natural systems. A Gas Chromatography (GC) system equipped with Flame Ionization and Electron Capture detection is used for quantifying volatile compounds in gas samples. There are two high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems used for quantifying chemical pollutants or microbial metabolites. An Ion Chromatography (IC) system is available for quantifying dissolved charged chemical species in natural and treated water. An Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) system is available for the quantitation of trace elements in soils or water. A supercritical CO2 extractor is used for activated carbon regeneration and extraction of organic pollutants from soil and sediment matrices. The laboratory is equipped for analyses of microbial communities via: phase-contrast microscopy for enumeration and identification; spread or membrane plating for selective cultivation; and DNA extraction, visualization, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, and quantitative PCR for detection and identification. AUV-visible spectrophotometer, various ovens, dissolved oxygen meters, pH meters, and electronic balances are also available. 

Soil and Water Laboratory (104)

This laboratory is equipped to teach students how to determine the properties of soils. Ovens and electronic balances are available for soil moisture content analysis. pH meters are available for characterization of soil and water samples. Instruments for manual or automated measurement of soil particle size distributions and sensor-enabled measurement of soil water content and pressure potential are available. Pressure extractors and automatic systems to measure water retention curves and saturated hydraulic conductivity, along with two types of tension infiltrometers that can be connected to data loggers for automatically quantifying water movement through unsaturated soils and sediments enable study of flow in porous media. A physical aquifer model allows students to visualize and manipulate movement of water and contaminants in a groundwater environment.

Operator Training Center, Cook Campus

Air Sampling and Analysis Laboratory

This laboratory is equipped to provide students with experience in ambient and indoor air sampling. Students learn how to use air flow rate and velocity measurement devices (i.e., wet test meter, dry gas meter, bubble calibrator, mass flow meter, rotameters, S-type and regular pitot tubes), particle samplers (i.e., Button inhalable aerosol sampler, IOM inhalable aerosol sampler, PM2.5 impactor, and cyclone), particle measurement instruments (i.e., optical particle counter, condensation particle counter, and aerosol mass photometer),and bioaerosol samplers (i.e., 1-stage Anderson impactor, 6-stage Anderson impactor, and portable bioaerosol samplers). Students gain experience in analyzing gases using Draeger tubes and ozone meters.