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  • Ion Chromatography and Emerging Contaminants Analysis


       Ion chromatography and emerging contaminants analysis research group is devoted to studying and solving the environmental problem caused by emerging contaminants using advanced chromatographic analysis method and nanotechnology. Based on the chromatography technique and nanomaterials, we try to develop efficient sample pretreatment and chromatography analysis method for emerging contaminants including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), siloxanes, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), perchlorate, drinking water disinfection by-products, and investigate their occurrence, migration, transformation and fate of in environmental matrixes.

    The current studies include aspects as follows: (1) to develop novel and efficient sample pretreatment and chromatographic analytical method for above-mentioned contaminants in environmental and biological samples; (2) to investigate the environmental occurrence, transport, transformation and fate of emerging environmental pollutants; (3) to establish new ion chromatographic method for the analysis of environment or biology related polar and ionic substances (4) to prepare novel composite nanosized materials and to study their potential application in the field of environment science and analytical chemistry. 

    Selected publications

    1. Lin Xu, Xudan He, Liqin Zhi, Chunhui Zhang, Tao Zeng, Yaqi Cai*. Chlorinated Methylsiloxanes Generated in the Papermaking Process and Their Fate in Wastewater Treatment Processes, Environmental Science & Technology, 2016, DOI:10.1021/acs.est.6b03512
    2. Yuan Wang, Robin Vestergren, Yali Shi, Dong Cao, Lin Xu, Yaqi Cai, Xiaoli Zhao, Fengchang Wu, Identification, Tissue distribution, and bioaccumulation potential of cyclic perfluorinated sulfonic acids isomers in an airport impacted ecosystem, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50 (20), 10923-10932
    3. Yali Shi, Robin Vestergren, Lin Xu, Zhen Zhou, Chuangxiu Li, Yong Liang, Yaqi Cai*, Human Exposure and Elimination Kinetics of Chlorinated Polyfluoroalkyl Ether Sulfonic Acids (Cl-PFESAs), Environ. Sci. Technol., 2016, 50(5), 2396-2404
    4. Yali Shi, Robin Vestergren, Zhen Zhou, Xiaowei Song, Lin Xu, Yong Liang, Yaqi Cai*, Tissue distribution and whole body burden of the chlorinated polyfluoroluoroether sulfonic acid, F-53B, in crucian carp (Carassius carassius): Evidence for a highly bioaccumulative contaminant of emerging concern, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49(24), 14156-14165
    5. Yali Shi, Shihe Xu, Lin Xu, Yaqi Cai*, Distribution, elimination, and rearrangement of cyclic volatile methylsioxanes in Oil-contaminated soil of the Shengli Oilfield, China, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49 (19), 11527-11535
    6. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Saihua Wang, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, Spatial Confinement of a Co3O4 Catalyst in Hollow Metal–Organic Frameworks as a Nanoreactor for Improved Degradation of Organic Pollutants, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2015, 49 (4), 2350–2357 
    7. Hongyun Niu, Saihua Wang, Yixin Tan, Yaqi Cai*, Investigation of the interaction modes between nonpolar organic pollutants with ionizable functional groups and natural organic matter via AuNP-based colorimetric assays, Chemical Communication 2015, 51, 17140-17143.
    8. Zhen Zhou, Yali Shi, Robin Vestergren, Thanh Wang, Yong Liang, Yaqi Cai*, Highly Elevated Serum Concentrations of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Fishery Employees from Tangxun Lake, China, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2014, 48, 3864-3874
    9. Hongyun Niu, Saihua Wang, Zhen Zhou, Yurong Ma, Xunfeng Ma, Yaqi Cai*, Sensitive colorimetric visualization of perfluorinated compounds using poly(ethylene glycol) and perfluorinated thiols modified gold nanoparticles, Analytical Chemistry 2014, 86, 4170−4177.
    10. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Yuanyuan Guo, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, Enhanced catalytic application of Au@polyphenolmetal nanocomposites synthesized by a facile and green method, J. Mater. Chem. A , 2014, 2,14807-14811
    11. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Saihua Wang, Yurong Ma, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, Assembly of a nanoreactor system with confined magnetite core and shell for enhanced Fenton-like catalysis, Chemistry-A European Journal, 2014,20, 6474-6481
    12. Zhen Zhou, Yong Liang, Yali Shi*, Lin Xu, Yaqi Cai, Occurrence and Transport of Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs), Including Short-Chain PFAAs in Tangxun Lake, China, Environ. Sci. Technol. 2013, 47(16), 9249-9257
    13. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Yurong Ma, Saihua Wang, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, A functional rattle-type microsphere with a magnetic-carbon double-layered shell for enhanced extraction of organic targets, Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 6039—6041.
    14. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Saihua Wang, Yurong Ma, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, A double-shelled yolk-like structure as an ideal magnetic support of tiny gold nanoparticles for nitrophenol reduction, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2013, 1, 11641–11647.
    15. Lin Xu, Yali Shi, Thanh Wang, Zhirong Dong, Weiping Su, Yaqi Cai*. Methyl Siloxanes in Environmental Matrices around a Siloxanes Production Facility, and Their Distributional and Elimination in Plasma of Exposed Population, Environmental Science & Technology, 2012, 46(21), 11718-11726.
    16. Hongyun Niu, Saihua Wang, Tao Zeng, Yixuan Wang, Xiaole Zhang, Zhaofu Meng, Yaqi Cai*, Preparation and characterization of layer-by-layer assembly of thiols/Ag nanoparticles/polydopamine on PET bottles for the enrichment of organic pollutants from water samples, Journal of Material Chemistry 2012, 22, 15644-15653.
    17. Hongyun Niu, Di Zhang, Zhaofu Meng, Yaqi Cai*, Fast defluorination and removal of norfloxacin by alginate/Fe@Fe3O4 core/shell structured nanoparticles. Journal of Hazardous Materials 2012, 227-228(15), 195-203
    18. Xiaole Zhang, Hongyun Niu, Yuanyuan Pan, Yali Shi, Yaqi Cai*, Chitosan-Coated Octadecyl-Functionalized Magnetite Nanoparticles: Preparation and Application in Extraction of Trace Pollutants from Environmental Water Samples, Anal. Chem., 2010, 82(6), 2367-2371.
    19. Hongyun Niu, Shengxiao Zhang, Xiaole Zhang, Yaqi Cai*, Alginate-polymer-caged, C18-functionalized magnetic titanate nanotubes for fast and efficient extraction of phthalate esters from water samples with complex matrix. ACS Applied Mateirals & Interfaces 2010, 2, 1157-1163.
    20. Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, Preparation of octadecyl and amino mixed group modified titanate nanotubes and its efficient adsorption to several ionic or ionizable organic analytes. Analytical Chemistry 2009, 81, 9913-9920.
    21. Yali Shi, Ning Zhang, Jianmin Gao, Xin Li, Yaqi Cai*, Effect of fireworks display on perchlorate in air aerosols during the Spring Festival, Atmos. Environ., 2011, 45, 1323-1327
    22. Tao Zeng, Xiaole Zhang, Yurong Ma, Hongyun Niu, Yaqi Cai*, A novel Fe3O4–graphene–Au multifunctional nanocomposite: green synthesis and catalytic application, J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22(35), 18658-18663.
    23. Xiaole Zhang, Hongyun Niu, Wenhui Li, Yali Shi, Yaqi Cai*, A core–shell magnetic mesoporous silica sorbent for organic targets with high extraction performance and anti-interference ability, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 4454-4456.
    24. Yurong Ma, Hongyun Niu, Xiaole Zhang, Yaqi Cai*, Colorimetric detection of copper ions in tap water within the synthesis of silver/dopamine nanoparticles, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 2643-12645.

    Supported Projects

    1. Strategic pilot project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (category: B): Human exposure on emerging contaminants in typically high risk area, (No. XDB1410200), participate, Duration: 2014-2019
    2. Key projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China: Analytical methods for emerging pollutants in environmental samples with complex matrix based on integration of nanocomposites and high resolution mass spectrometry, (No. 21537004), in Charge, Duration: 2016-2020
    3. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Occurrence and bioaccumulation of organophosphate flame retardants in typical freshwater lake” (No. 21477143), In charge, Duration: 2015.1-2018.12
    4. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Nano-meter or submirco-meter scaled magnetic mesoporous carbon adsorbents for environmental analysis” (No. 21277152), In charge, Duration: 2013.1-2016.12
    5. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “The identification, environmental behavior and bioaccumulation of a group of new PFASs substituents- per-/polyfluoroalkyl ether substances (PFAESs)” (No. 21677154), In charge, Duration: 2017.1-2020.12
    6. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in landfill: Release, source and fate” (No. 21377145), In charge, Duration: 2014.1-2017.12
    7. The National Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China “Study of the transformation of perfluorinated compounds during wastewater, effluent, and sludge processing” (No. 20907063), In charge, Duration: 2010.1-2012.12
    8. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Rapid extraction and detection of organic contaminants using magnetic nanocomposites as adsorbents and matrix of MALDI-TOF-MS” (No. 21477140), In charge, Duration: 2015.1-2018.12
    9. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Preparation of novel magnetic nanoparticles as solid-phase extraction adsorbents based on dopamine and its application in environmental analysis” (No. 21277002), In charge, Duration: 2013.1-2016.12
    10. The National Science Foundation for Young Scientists of China “Titanate nanotubes with hydrophilic/hydrophobic mixed functionalized modes as solid phase extraction adsorbents and its application in environmental analysis” (No. 20907061), In charge, Duration: 2010.1-2012.12
    11. The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Pollution sources of methyl siloxanes in oilfield and their migration and transformation in aquatic and terrestrial compartments” (No. 21407159), In charge, Duration: 2015.1-2017.12


    1. 2011 Received the National Science and Technology Advancement Award (second-class award)

    2. 2010 Received the Second-Class Award for the research work entitled “Application potential of nanomaterials for pretreatment of organic pollutants in water”, CAIA-Chinese Association for Instrumental Analysis.

    3. 2005 and 2006 Received First-Class Award of CAIA-Chinese Association for Instrumental Analysis.