Xiangyu Ji


Xiangyu Ji
PhD student

Department of Applied Microbial Ecology


Helmholtz-Centre for
Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany


Xiangyu Ji

Research interest

Climate change causes urban weather extremes with hotter and drier summers and more storm water events. Blue-green infrastructures (BGIs), like green roofs and tree trenches, offer solutions for rainwater retention and an as yet underutilized potential to clean urban water from contaminants. As part of the UFZ PhD College CLEANER, we aim at creating a biofilm-based, biochar-enhanced reactive urban percolation system for improved treatment of urban run-off in tree trenches. We hypothesize that the physicochemical properties of biochar allow to control reversible sorptive enrichment and biodegradation of (model) runoff pollutants in biochar-augmented tree trenches. Therefore, we ask the following questions:

  • Which sorbent properties enable contaminant retention in high load periods (e.g. heavy rain), while providing availability for biodegradation in weak load periods?
  • What facilitates microbial uptake and degradation of particle-bound contaminants in sorbent-augmented reactive percolation systems?
  • Which sorbent-augmented, biofilm-based percolation system enables fast retention of (different) pollutants in high load periods, while providing high buffer capacity and availability for long-term biodegradation?

CV / Scientific Career

since 06/2023

PhD student
at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Applied Microbial Ecology, Research Group Bioavailability

04/2022 - 11/2022

Research Project
The University of Queensland, Australia

'Characterisation and impact of non-degradable organic materials in wastewater biosolids'

09/2019 - 09/2021

MSc in Environmental Sciences
Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands

Master Project:
'Selective Electrodialysis for Food Industry - Development of a model including the effect of diffusion boundary layers on the selective transport of monovalent and divalent ions'
'Micropollutants Removal During Anaerobic Digestion - Removal of micropollutants during (hyper-)thermophilic anaerobic digestion of concentrated black water'

09/2014 - 06/2018

BSc in Environmental Sciences
Liaoning Normal University, China

Bachelor Project:
'Enhanced Treatment of Coking Wastewater by Using A Novel Electrical Membrane Bioreactor'


Moerland, M. J., Van Gijn, K., Ji, X., Buisman, C. J., Rijnaarts, H. H., Langenhoff, A. A., & Van Eekert, M. H. (2022).
Micropollutants removal during high rate thermophilic and hyper-thermophilic anaerobic digestion of concentrated black water
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 10(2), 107340.