Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Engineering Hall 435
Complete CV




Research Interests

  • (Catalytic) thermochemical conversion
  • Renewable fuel synthesis
  • Waste-based material synthesis
  • CO2 capture and utilization
  • Waste-derived catalyst application
  • Synergistic waste treatment
  • Heavy metal characterization and fate
  • Reactor design and process simulation

Professional Preparation

Postdoctoral Researcher, 2014, Water Quality Center, Marquette University

Ph.D., 2013, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Riverside

M.S., 2008, Environmental Engineering, Shanghai University

B.S., 2004, Environmental Engineering, Shanghai University

Selected Publications

Liu, Z., Singer, S., Tong, Y., Kimbell, L., Anderson, E., Hughes, M., Zitomer, D., McNamara, P. 2018. Characteristics and applications of biochars derived from wastewater solids, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 90, 650-664.

Liu, Z., McNamara, P., Zitomer, D. 2017. Autocatalytic pyrolysis of wastewater biosolids for product upgrading. Environmental Science & Technology,51 (17), 9808-9816.

Liu, Z.*, Norbeck, J., Raju, A., Kim, S., Park, C. 2016. Synthetic natural gas production by sorption enhanced steam hydrogasification based processes for improving CH4 yield and mitigating CO2 emissions. Energy Conversion and Management , 126, 256-265. (*corresponding author)

Fan, X., Liu, Z.*, Norbeck, J., Park, C. 2016. A simple kinetic analysis of syngas during steam hydrogasification of biomass using a novel inverted batch reactor with instant high pressure feeding. Bioresource Technology, 200, 731-737. (*corresponding author and co-first-author)

Liu, Z., Park, C., Norbeck, J. 2013. Sorption enhanced steam hydrogasification of coal for synthesis gas production with in-situ CO2 removal and self-sustained hydrogen supply. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 38(17), 7016-7025.

Liu, Z., Qian, G., Sun, Y., Xu, R., Zhou, J., Xu, Y. 2010. Speciation evolutions of heavy metals during the sewage sludge incineration in a laboratory scale incinerator. Energy & Fuels, 24(4), 2470-2478.

Liu, Z., Qian, G., Zhou, J., Li, C., Xu, Y., Qin, Z. 2008. Improvement of ground granulated blast furnace slag on stabilization/solidification of simulated mercury-doped wastes in chemically bonded phosphate ceramics. Journal of hazardous materials, 157(1), 146-153.

Recent Grants

Liu, Z. (PI). Grit Assisted Patch (GAP) for Milwaukee Pothole Fast Repair (Phase II-field test). Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. 1/19-12/19

Liu, Z. (PI). Production of Waste-Based Activated Carbon with Renewable Fuel Upgrading and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation. Marquette University - College of Engineering Undergraduate Research Program. 5/18-8/18

Liu, Z. (PI). Grit Assisted Patch (GAP) for Milwaukee Pothole Fast Repair. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. 1/18-12/18

Liu, Z. (PI). Enhancing Biosolids Energy Production with Chaff and Ash. NSF WEP Center. 1/17-12/17

McNamara, P. (PI), Liu, Z. (Co-PI), Singer, S. (Co-PI). Pilot-Scale Pyrolysis of Biosolids (Phase II) - Auto-Catalysis to Improve Yields and Quality. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. 7/16-10/17

Students studying in lab

Civil, Construction and Environmental

Civil and environmental engineers design and build the infrastructure of civilization: highway systems, airports, water treatment systems, waste treatment systems, buildings, bridges and cities themselves.

Apply: Undergraduate

Apply: Graduate

Advisory Councils

Co-op and Internship

Faculty and Staff

Short Courses


Dean's office: (414) 288-6591
Prospective students: (414) 288-7302
General information: (414) 288-7080

College administration staff