Skip to Main Content

Onur Apul

Onur Apul
Dr. Onur G. ApulAssistant Professor

Research Interests

Onur Apul Lab's research interest revolves around exploring molecular level interactions between nanomaterial surfaces and pollutants in natural and built aquatic environments. The overarching goal is to advance in drinking water treatment with a hypothesis-driven, experimentalist approach inspired by principles of physicochemistry.


  • Ph D: Environmental Engineering, (2014), Clemson University, - Clemson, SC
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Predictive model development for adsorption of organic contaminants by carbon nanotubes.
  • MS: Environmental Engineering, (2009), Middle East Technical University - Ankara, Turkey
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Municipal sludge minimization: Evaluation of ultrasonic and acidic pretreatment methods and their subsequent effects on anaerobic digestion.
  • BS: Environmental Engineering, (2006), Middle East Technical University - Ankara, Turkey
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Capstone Project: Trabzon municipality slaughterhouse wastewater treatment plant design.


Prior to his appointment in Environmental Engineering at University of Massachusetts Lowell, Onur Apul worked as a post-doctoral research associate in School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University (2015-2017). He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University in 2014. His bachelor's and master's degrees are in Environmental Engineering from Turkey's Middle East Technical University.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Donald G. Leitch Award (2019) - ASCE Student Chapter
  • Catalyst Grant Recipient, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (2018)
  • Commercialization and New Ventures Recognition (2018) - UMass Lowell
  • DifferenceMaker Award Recipient, UMass Lowell (Advisee: Mr. Khalid) (2018)
  • Most Published Faculty Member in Francis College of Engineering (2018) - UMass Lowell
  • UMass Acorn Technology Transfer Award (2018) - UMass
  • 1st Pan American Congress of Nanotechnology, Travel Award Recipient (2017)
  • UMass Lowell Francis College of Engineering Prototype Competition Public Voting, Best Prototype Award (2017)
  • UMass Lowell Recognition for Highest Number of Peer-Reviewed Publications and Creative Works (2017)
  • Highly Cited Paper Recognition by Water Research (2015)
  • American Chemical Society Environmental Division, Certificate of Merit (2014)
  • Clemson University Student Government, Professional Enrichment Grant Recipient (2014)
  • The 23rd Annual South Carolina Environmental Conference, Student Poster Award, 3rd place (2013)
  • The Water Environment Association of South Carolina, L.G. Rich Fellowship Recipient (2013)
  • Clemson University Student Government, Professional Enrichment Grant Recipient (2012)
  • The Carbon for Energy Applications Symposium/Workshop, Elsevier Student Poster Award (2012)
  • Middle East Technical University Capstone Design Project, Best Project Award (2006)
  • Middle East Technical University Honor Roll (2006)

Selected Publications

  • Ersan, G., Kaya, Y., Ersan, M., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2019) "Adsorption kinetics and aggregation for three classes of carbonaceous adsorbents in the presence of natural organic matter", Chemosphere
  • Saleh, N., Khalid, A., Yuan, T., Ayres, C., Sabaraya, I., Pietari, J., Hanigan, D., Chowdhury, I., Apul, O. (2019) "Degradation and removal of poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances from aqueous systems by nano-enabled water treatment technologies", Environmental Science: Water Research and Technology
  • Atkinson, A., Apul, O., Schneider, O., Garcia-Segura, S., Westerhoff, P. (2019) "Nanobubble Technologies Offer Opportunities To Improve Water Treatment", Accounts of Chemical Research
  • Ersan, G., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2019) "Predictive Models for Adsorption of Organic Contaminants by Graphene Nanosheets: Comparison with Carbon Nanotubes", Sciences of the Total Environment
  • Saleh, N., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2019) "The Genesis of a Critical Environmental Concern: Cannabinoids in Our Water Systems", Environmental Science and Technology
  • Gan, W. (Arizona State University), Vankatesan, A., Apul, O., Perreault, F., Yang, X., Westerhoff, P. (2018) "Bromide and other halide ion removal from drinking waters using silver-amended coagulation. ", Journal of American Water Works Association accepted:
  • Kidd, J., Barrios, A., Apul, O., Westerhoff, P., Perreault, F. (2018) "Removal of bromide from surface water: A comparison between silver-impregnated graphene oxide and silver-impregnated powdered activated carbon", Environmental Engineering Science 35:9
  • Ersan, G., Apul, O., Perreault, F., Karanfil, T. (2017) "Adsorption of organic contaminants by graphene nanosheets: A review", Water Research 126: pp. 385-398
  • Linard, E., Apul, O., Karanfil, T., van den Hurk, P., Klaine, S. (2017) "Bioavailability of Carbon Nanomaterial-Adsorbed Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons to Pimphales promelas: Influence of Adsorbate Molecular Size and Configuration", Environmental Science and Technology 51: pp. 9288-9296
  • Ateia, M., Apul, O., Shimizu, Y., Muflihah, A., Yoshimura, C., Karanfil, T. (2017) "Elucidating Adsorptive Fractions of Natural Organic Matter on Carbon Nanotubes", Environmental Science & Technology 51: pp. 7101-7110
  • Chen, C., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2017) "Removal of bromide from surface waters using silver impregnated activated carbon", Water Research 113: pp. 223–230
  • Apul, O., von Reitzenstein, N.H., Schoepf, J., Ladner, D., Hristovski, K.D., Westerhoff, P. (2017) "Superfine powdered activated carbon incorporated into electrospun polystyrene fibers preserve adsorption capacity", Science of the Total Environment 592: pp. 458–464
  • Garcia, J., Markovski, J., Gifford, J.M., Apul, O., Hristovski, K.D. (2017) "The effect of metal (hydr) oxide nano-enabling on intraparticle mass transport of organic contaminants in hybrid granular activated carbon", Science of the Total Environment 586: pp. 1219–1227
  • Ersan, G., Kaya, Y., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2016) "Adsorption of organic contaminants by graphene nanosheets, carbon nanotubes and granular activated carbons under natural organic matter preloading conditions", Science of the Total Environment 565: pp. 811–817
  • Apul, O., Delgado, A.G., Kidd, J., Alam, F., Dahlen, P., Westerhoff, P. (2016) "Carbonaceous nano-additives augment microwave-enabled thermal remediation of soils containing petroleum hydrocarbons", Environmental Science: Nano 3:5 pp. 997–1002
  • Partlan, E., Davis, K., Ren, Y., Apul, O., Mefford, O Thompson, ., Karanfil, T., Ladner, D.A. (2016) "Effect of bead milling on chemical and physical characteristics of activated carbons pulverized to superfine sizes", Water research 89: pp. 161–170
  • Ersan, G., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2016) "Linear solvation energy relationships (LSER) for adsorption of organic compounds by carbon nanotubes", Water research 98: pp. 28–38
  • Apul, O., Dahlen, P., Delgado, A.G., Sharif, F., Westerhoff, P. (2016) "Treatment of heavy, long-chain petroleum-hydrocarbon impacted soils using chemical oxidation", Journal of Environmental Engineering 142:12 pp. 04016065
  • Zhou, Y., Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2015) "Adsorption of halogenated aliphatic contaminants by graphene nanomaterials", Water research 79: pp. 57–67
  • Apul, O., Karanfil, T. (2015) "Adsorption of synthetic organic contaminants by carbon nanotubes: a critical review", Water research 68: pp. 34–55
  • Bliznyuk, V., Duval, C., Apul, O., Seliman, A., Husson, S., DeVol, T. (2015) "High porosity scintillating polymer resins for ionizing radiation sensor applications", Polymer 56: pp. 271–279
  • Linard, E.N., van den Hurk, P., Karanfil, T., Apul, O., Klaine, S.J. (2015) "Influence of carbon nanotubes on the bioavailability of fluoranthene", Environmental toxicology and chemistry 34:3 pp. 658–666
  • Apul, O., Zhou, Y., Karanfil, T. (2015) "Mechanisms and modeling of halogenated aliphatic contaminant adsorption by carbon nanotubes", Journal of hazardous materials 295: pp. 138–144
  • Apul, O., Wang, Q., Zhou, Y., Karanfil, T. (2013) "Adsorption of aromatic organic contaminants by graphene nanosheets: Comparison with carbon nanotubes and activated carbon", Water research 47:4 pp. 1648–1654
  • Ellerie, J.R., Apul, O., Karanfil, T., Ladner, D.A. (2013) "Comparing graphene, carbon nanotubes, and superfine powdered activated carbon as adsorptive coating materials for microfiltration membranes", Journal of hazardous materials 261: pp. 91–98
  • Apul, O., Xuan, P., Luo, F., Karanfil, T., others, . (2013) "Development of a 3D QSPR model for adsorption of aromatic compounds by carbon nanotubes: comparison of multiple linear regression, artificial neural network and support vector machine", RSC Advances 3:46 pp. 23924–23934
  • Apul, O., Shao, T., Zhang, S., Karanfil, T. (2012) "Impact of carbon nanotube morphology on phenanthrene adsorption", Environmental toxicology and chemistry 31:1 pp. 73–78
  • Apul, O., Wang, Q., Shao, T., Rieck, J.R., Karanfil, T. (2012) "Predictive model development for adsorption of aromatic contaminants by multi-walled carbon nanotubes", Environmental science & technology 47:5 pp. 2295–2303
  • Apul, O., Atalar, I., Zorba, G.T., Sanin, F.D. (2010) "The dewaterability of disintegrated sludge samples before and after anaerobic digestion", Drying Technology 28:7 pp. 901–909
  • Apul, O., Sanin, F.D. (2010) "Ultrasonic pretreatment and subsequent anaerobic digestion under different operational conditions", Bioresource technology 101:23 pp. 8984–8992
  • Apul, O., Dogan, I., Sanin, F.D. (2009) "Can Capillary Suction Time be an Indicator for Sludge Disintegration?", Journal of Residuals Science & Technology 6:3