Lucia Rodriguez Freire

Contact Info

Title: Assistant Professor
Office: Colton 266
Hours: Wednesday 3-6 pm
Phone: 973-596-2448
Dept: Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Academic Interests: Pollution, deterioration of ecosystems, and depletion of resources


About Me:

Lucia Rodriguez-Freire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Before she joined NJIT, she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Mexico, where she investigated the biogeochemical processes that affect the cycle of metals and radionuclides in the environment.  Prior to that appointment, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arizona in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, where she developed a novel technique, sonochemical degradation, using sound to break down fluorinated compounds found in fire-fighting foams.  In her Ph.D. research, Lucia discovered the factors controlling arsenic microbial transformations in the environment, and the potential for mineralization of arsenic as a bioremediation technique.



Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, 2014  
M.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, 2010  
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 2008



ENE 663 Water Chemistry


Research Interest:

Lucia’s research interests aim to solve current and future environmental challenges, such as pollution, deterioration of ecosystems, and depletion of resources, with the help of ubiquitous resources to reduce waste production, to engineer effective systems for waste reuse, and to minimize waste impact.


Current Research

Lucia’s current research focuses in harnessing the interaction between biological and inorganic systems to:

  1. investigate the effect of contaminants to natural biogeochemical cycles in order to predict, avoid and/or remediate current and future detrimental effects to the environment;
  2. engineer high-efficient and sustainable resource-recovery technologies from agricultural, industrial and mining waste; and
  3. design state-of-the-art wastewater treatment systems to remove persistent contaminants in the environment using ubiquitous and low-value materials. 


  1. Blake, J, DeVore, C.L., Avasarala, S., Ali, M., Roldan, C., Bowers, F., Splide, M.L., Artshyroskva, K., Kirk, M.F., Rodriguez-Freire, L., Cerrato, J.M. (2017) Uranium mobility and accumulation along the Rio Paguate, Jackpile Mine in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impact, DOI:10.1039/C6EM00612D
  2. Saup, C.M., Williams, K.H., Rodriguez-Freire, L., Cerrato, J.M., Johnston, M.D., Wilkins, M.J. (2017) Anoxia stimulates microbially catalyzed metal release from Animas River sediments, Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impact, DOI: 10.1039/C7EM00036G
  3. Rodriguez-Freire, L., Avasarala, S., Ali, A.S., Agnew, D., Hoover, J.H., Artyushkova, K., Latta, D.E., Peterson, E., Lewis, J., Crossey, L.J., Brearley, A.J., Cerrato, J.M. (2016) Post Gold King Mine spill investigation of metal persistence in water and sediments of the Animas River watershed, Environmental Science and Technology, 50(21), 11539-11548
  4. Abad-Fernandez, N., Rodriguez-Freire, L., Keswani, M., Sierra-Alvarez, R. (2016) Effect of chemical structure on the sonochemical degradation of (per)fluorinated surfactants, Environmental Sciences:Water Research and Technology, 2, 975-983
  5. Rodriguez-Freire, L., Abad-Fernández, N., Sierra-Alvarez, R., Hoppe-Jones, C., Peng, H., Giesy, J. P., Snyder, S., Keswani, M. (2016) Sonochemical degradation of perfluorinated chemicals in aqueous film-forming foams. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 317, 275-283.
  6. Rodriguez-Freire, L., Moore, S.E., Sierra-Alvarez, R., Root, R, Chorover, J, Field, JA (2016) Arsenic remediation by formation of sulfide minerals in a continuous anaerobic bioreactor. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 113(3), 522-530
  7. Rodriguez-Freire, L., Moore, S.E., Sierra-Alvarez, R., Field, J.A. (2015) Adaptation of a methanogenic consortium to arsenite inhibition, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 226(12), 414
  8. Rodriguez-Freire, L., Balanchadran, R., Sierra-Alvarez, R., Keswani, M. (2015) Effect of sound frequency and initial concentration in the sonochemical degradation of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Journal of Hazardous Materials, 300:662-669
  9. Rodriguez-Freire, L, Sierra-Alvarez, R, Root, R, Chorover, J, Field, JA (2014) Biomineralization of arsenate to arsenic sulfides is greatly enhanced at mildly acidic conditions. Water Research, 66(0), 242-253
  10. Rodriguez-Freire L, Sun W, Sierra-Alvarez R, Field JA (2012): Flexible bacterial strains that oxidize arsenite in anoxic or aerobic conditions and utilize hydrogen or acetate as alternative electron donors. Biodegradation; 23(1):133-43