Renzun Zhao

Associate Professor

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Engineering

Civil Architect & Environ Engineer

McNair 437-A
Ph.D.Civil Engineering / Virginia Tech University
M.S.Municipal Engineering / Harbin Institute of Technology
B.S.Water Supply and Drainage Engineering / Harbin Institute of Technology


Renzun Zhao is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC). Dr. Zhao earned PhD in Civil Engineering (Environmental and Water Resource) from Virginia Tech in 2012. From 2012 to 2015, he got industrial involvement with Veolia Water, DC Water, etc. From 2015 to 2018, he was a faculty member at Lamar University (Beaumont TX).
The overarching goal of his research is to promote environmental sustainability, by understanding the complex water-energy interrelationship and mitigating the environmental impacts by industrial activities, with emphasis on water/wastewater and solid/hazardous waste.
His research has been sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF), North Carolina DOJ, Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF), Waste Management National Service, Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center (THWRC), etc. His research work has been published in journals, such as Water Research, Chemical Engineering Journal, etc.

Research Interests

Water/Wastewater infrastructure, solid waste management, new emerging contaminants, water-energy nexus, infrastructure resilience, application of machine learning in environmental engineering, etc.

External URL


Recent Publications

  • Renzun Zhao, Stephanie Luster-Teasley, Lifeng Zhang (2023). (Microplastics in landfill leachate: Sources, Occurrence, and Removal). 16, pp. 1-12. Environmental Science and Ecotechnology/Elsvier.
  • Renzun Zhao (2023). (Nitrifier assemblages and dynamics in secondary water supply systems: Predominance of comammox – Nitrospira in tank biofilm and sediment). ACS ES&T Water.
  • Renzun Zhao (2022). (Environmental Impacts of Hurricane Harvey on the Neches-Brakes Bayou River System in Beaumont, Texas). 71, pp. 730–740. Environmental Management .
  • Mengjie Liu, Nigel Graham, Wenyu Wang, Renzun Zhao, Yonglong Lu, Menachem Elimelech, Wenzheng Yu (2022). (Spatial assessment of tap water safety in China and associated health impacts).
  • Harsh Patel, B Brazil, H Lou, Manoj Jha, Stephanie Teasley, Renzun Zhao (2021). (Evaluation of the effects of chemically enhanced primary treatment on landfill leachate and sewage co-treatment in publicly owned treatment works). (102116) 42, Journal of Water Process Engineering.
  • Jian Fang, Renzun Zhao, Balaji Rao, Magdalena Rakowska, Dimitrios Athanasiou, Kayleigh Millerick, Suying Wei, Xiangyang Lei, Helen Lou, Danny Reible (2021). (Removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from water using Mn (III)-based advanced oxidation process). (3) 147, pp. 04021002. Journal of Environmental Engineering.
  • Xiaodong Zhang, Siqing Xia, Renzun Zhao, Hong Wang (2020). (Effect of temperature on opportunistic pathogen gene markers and microbial communities in long-term stored roof-harvested rainwater). 181, pp. 108917. Environmental Research.
  • Yang Deng, Chanil Jung, Renzun Zhao, Kevin Torrens, Laying Wu (2018). (Adsorption of UV-quenching substances (UVQS) from landfill leachate with activated carbon). 350, pp. 739--746. Chemical Engineering Journal.
  • Syeed Iskander, Renzun Zhao, Ankit Pathak, Abhinav Gupta, Amy Pruden, John Novak, Zhen He (2018). (A review of landfill leachate induced ultraviolet quenching substances: Sources, characteristics, and treatment). 145, pp. 297--311. Water research.
  • Renzun Zhao, Chanil Jung, Alicja Trzopek, Kevin Torrens, Yang Deng (2018). (Characterization of ultraviolet-quenching dissolved organic matter (DOM) in mature and young leachates before and after biological pre-treatment). (5) 4, pp. 731--738. Environmental Science: Water Research \& Technology.
  • Renzun Zhao, Hong Zhao, Rich Dimassimo, Guoren Xu (2018). (Pilot scale study of sequencing batch reactor (SBR) retrofit with integrated fixed film activated sludge (IFAS): nitrogen removal and design consideration). (4) 4, pp. 569--581. Environmental Science: Water Research \& Technology.
  • Harsh Patel, Renzun Zhao (2018). (Synergetic Effects of Chemically Enhanced Primary Treatment (CEPT) on UV Quenching Phenomenon during the Co-treatment of Sewage and Landfill Leachate). (13) 2018, pp. 2412--2421. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Chanil Jung, Yang Deng, Renzun Zhao, Kevin Torrens (2017). (Chemical oxidation for mitigation of UV-quenching substances (UVQS) from municipal landfill leachate: Fenton process versus ozonation). 108, pp. 260--270. Water research.
  • Renzun Zhao, Abhinav Gupta, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2017). (Evolution of nitrogen species in landfill leachates under various stabilization states). 69, pp. 225--231. Waste Management.
  • Synthia Mallick, Alfred Wadee, Renzun Zhao (2017). (Humic Substances Isolation Method Development and its Application to Landfill Leachates from Elevated Temperature Landfills (ETLFs)). (4) 2017, pp. 5894--5905. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Yang Deng, Renzun Zhao (2015). (Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) in wastewater treatment). (3) 1, pp. 167--176. Current Pollution Reports.
  • Abhinav Gupta, John Novak, Renzun Zhao (2015). (Characterization of organic matter in the thermal hydrolysis pretreated anaerobic digestion return liquor). (4) 3, pp. 2631--2636. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering.
  • Abhinav Gupta, Renzun Zhao, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2014). (Application of Fenton’s reagent as a polishing step for removal of UV quenching organic constituents in biologically treated landfill leachates). 105, pp. 82--86. Chemosphere.
  • Abhinav Gupta, Renzun Zhao, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2014). (Variation in organic matter characteristics of landfill leachates in different stabilisation stages). (12) 32, pp. 1192--1199. Waste management \& research.
  • Renzun Zhao, Abhinav Gupta, John Novak, C Goldsmith, Natalie Driskill (2013). (Characterization and treatment of organic constituents in landfill leachates that influence the UV disinfection in the publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)). 258, pp. 1--9. Journal of hazardous materials.
  • Renzun Zhao, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2013). (Treatment of organic matter and methylated arsenic in landfill biogas condensate). (5) 33, pp. 1207--1214. Waste management.
  • Renzun Zhao, Abhinav Gupta, John Novak, others (2013). (Using Fenton's Reagent as a Polishing Step for Biologically Treated Landfill Leachate). (19) 2013, pp. 386--408. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Renzun Zhao, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2012). (Evaluation of on-site biological treatment for landfill leachates and its impact: a size distribution study). (12) 46, pp. 3837--3848. water research.
  • Renzun Zhao, John Novak, C Goldsmith (2011). (Size Distribution of Organic Matter and Organic Nitrogen in a Landfill Leachate and Treatment Evaluation). (13) 2011, pp. 3329--3340. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation.
  • Jian-lei YUAN, Li-qiu ZHANG, Feng XIAO, Ren-zun ZHAO, Peng WANG (2008). (Study on influence factors of nitrite accumulation in biological activated carbon filter). Journal of Harbin University of Commerce (Natural Sciences Edition).