Yuan Li


PhD researcher

E-Mail Address

Phone Number


Joined the ERI

May 20, 2016

Job Description

I’m a PhD researcher, sponsored by the Scottish Government Hydro Nation Scholarship scheme, working on utilising Scottish industrial and agricultural wastes as low-cost biosorbents for the removal of pharmaceuticals and hormones.

Research interests:
·         Environmental risk compounds evaluation
·         Analytical methods of pharmaceuticals and estrogens by using LC-MS/MS and SPE processes.
·         Pharmaceuticals biosorption behaviors including kinetics, isotherms, and interaction mechanisms
·         Economic feasibility assessment of the treatment approach including column design, pilot trial in collaboration with Scottish Water and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.


2011-2014 MSc degree, Environmental Engineering: State Key Laboratory o Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences;
2007-2011 BSc degree, Environmental Engineering: College of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Shandong Jianzhu University


Li Yuan, Wei Dongbin, DU Yuguo. Oxidative Transformation of Levofloxacin by Manganese Oxide: Products, Pathways and Toxicity Assessment. Chemosphere, 2015, 119, 282-288
Li Yuan, Wei Dongbin, DU Yuguo. A Review on transformation mechanisms of typical organic pollutants by Manganese oxide [J]. Environmental Chemistry, 2013, 32 (7): pp 1288-1299.(in Chinese)
Li Yuan, Wei Dongbin, DU Yuguo. Transformation of levofloxacin in potassium permanganate oxidation system. Environmental Chemistry, 2014, 33 (12):pp 2019-2026.(in Chinese)


I’ve been working in the environmental engineering field for ten years. Among the world-wide diversified pollution issues, the topics of pharmaceuticals have gathered global concern. For addressing those problems, the development of treatment process for pharmaceuticals remediation is of vital importance.
I used to investigate the decontamination treatment of wastewater by using synthesized manganese oxide, including synthesis and characterization of manganese oxide, micropollutant degradation evaluation and product compounds identification, and biotoxicity assessment of the treatment process.  Then I moved onto a more practical project named “Can Low Cost Biosorbent Technology be used to Efficiently Remove Steroid Hormones and Pharmaceutical Residues from Wastewater Effluents”. My current study focuses on evaluating the potential to use industrial and agricultural by-products as low cost biosorbents for the removal of human pharmaceuticals and hormones from aqueous media. The overall aim of the project is to develop a tertiary treatment step that may be applied to waters that have undergone sewage treatment, i.e., an efficient and cost-effective ‘polishing’ treatment to remove residual compounds from a simplified matrix in low flow conditions.