Case van Genuchten Research


Case in the lab at UC Berkeley standing alongside the settling tank of one of the ECAR prototypes designed and constructed at UCB. This prototype (100L volume) was shipped to West Bengal, India and used in a successful month-long field trial removing arsenic from real groundwater.

Case M. van Genuchten, 120 Blum Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720


University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. Civil & Environmental Engineering Expected 2013

University of California, Berkeley
M. Sc. Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2009

San Diego State University
B. Sc. Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2008

Research Interests

  • Applying sustainable, engineered solutions to real-world problems involving water quality
  • Investigating contaminant uptake mechanisms by metal-oxide minerals using synchrotron-based characterization techniques

Honors and Awards

  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship August, 2010 – July, 2013
  • Jane Lewis Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley, August, 2009 – July, 2010
  • Stone Award: Top graduating senior in department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering, San Diego State University, June, 2008
  • David G. Fleet Scholarship, San Diego State University, June, 2006

An X-ray absorption spectroscopy experiment in-progress at beam line 4-1 of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source.

Current Research

  • My work involves developing an arsenic-removal technology for rural South Asia, where millions of people drink arsenic-contaminated groundwater every day.  Specifically, my research focuses on integrating synchrotron-based characterization techniques to understand the influence of common groundwater ions (phosphate, silicate, calcium, magnesium) on the structure and reactivity of electrochemically-generated iron (oxyhydr)oxides

Professional Experience

  • Spokesperson and author of research proposals to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL; proposal #3150) and the Advanced Photon Source (APS; proposal # 22063)
  • Attended intensive workshops on X-ray scattering (XRS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) offered by SSRL and APS respectively
  • 100+ hours of synchrotron data collection experience (XRS and XAS experiments)
  • Over 3 years of trace element analysis using plasma emission systems (ICP-OES)
  • Serves as reviewer for peer-reviewed scientific journals (Environ. Sci. Tech., Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta, Green Chem. Rev. Let.) and for proposals for synchrotron-based X-ray experiments (Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource)


  • Li, L., van Genuchten, C. M., Addy, S. E. A., Yao, J., Gao, N., Gadgil, A. J.
    Modeling As(III) Oxidation and Removal with Iron Electrocoagulation in Groundwater. Environmental Science & Technology
September, 2012
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Addy, S. E. A., Peña, J., Gadgil, A. J.
    Removing Arsenic from Synthetic Groundwater with Iron Electrocoagulation: An Fe and As K-edge EXAFS Study. Environmental Science & Technology
January, 2012

Book Chapters

  • Gadgil, A. J., Amrose, S. E., Bandaru, S. R. S., van Genuchten, C. M., Delaire, C., Roy, J.,
    Addressing arsenic mass poisoning in South Asia with electro-chemical arsenic remediation (ECAR). In Water Reclamation and Sustainability 


  • van Genuchten, C. M., Peña, J., Amrose, S. E., Gadgil, A. J.  Structure of Fe(III) precipitates generated by Fe(0) electrocoagulation in the presence of groundwater ions. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
December, 2012
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Peña, J., Addy, S. E. A., Gadgil, A. J. Affordable Arsenic Removal for Rural South Asia. Berkeley Water Center and Blum Center for Developing Economies International Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Symposium, Berkeley, CA
May, 2012
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Peña, J., Addy, S. E. A., Sposito, G., Gadgil, A. J. Influence of Common Groundwater Ions on the Structure and Reactivity of Iron Electrocoagulation Precipitates. Geochemical Society Goldschmidt Conference
August, 2011
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Addy, S. E. A., Peña, J., Gadgil, A. J.  Iron polymerization and arsenic removal during iron electrocoagulation in synthetic Bangladesh groundwater. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
December, 2010
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Addy, S. E. A., Peña, J., Gadgil, A. J.  Removing Arsenic from Bangladesh Groundwater. University of California, Berkeley Sustainability Expo
April, 2010
  • van Genuchten, C. M., Addy, S. E. A., Pena, J., Gadgil, A. J.  Arsenic Remediation for Rural South Asia: ECAR Prototype Design and Field Data. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
December, 2009

Inside the synchrotron at the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland.  X-ray absorption experiments were carried out here to investigate how calcium is taken up by the particles generated during ECAR, with the ultimate goal of understanding why the presence of calcium enhances arsenic removal in ECAR.



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