Faculty

Bill Rixey
Dr. Bill Rixey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Associate Department Chair
Office Location: N122 Engineering Building 1, Houston, TX 77204-4003
Phone: 713-743-4279 | Fax: 713-743-4260
Email: wrixey [at] uh [dot] edu

Education: 

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University

Professional Experience: 

1999–Present: Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston
1993–1999: Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Houston
1989–1993: Associate Research Engineer, Shell Development Company, Houston, TX
1987–1989: Research Scientist, Henkel Research Corporation, Santa Rosa, CA
1983–1987: Research Assistant, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1977–1983: Senior Engineer (82-83, Process Engineer (79-82), Engineer (77-79), Exxon Chemical Company, Florham Park, NJ

Classes: 

CIVE 6388: Hazardous Waste Treatment Processes
CIVE 6392: Mass Transfer in Envir. Systems
CIVE 4333: Water and Waste Water Treatment Processes

Awards & Honors: 

Enron Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston (2002)
W.T. Kittinger Teaching Excellence Award, Cullen College of Engineering (1999)
Outstanding Teaching Award, Dept. Civil & Environmental Engineering (1998, 2001 & 2008)
ASCE Professor of the Year Award, Dept. Civil & Environmental Engineering (1998)
Distinguished Service Award, Water Environment Association of Texas and the Texas Section American Water Works Association (2005)

Other Awards and Honors: 

Associate Editor, Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation (2005-present)
Gulf Coast Hazardous Substance Research Center and Texas Air Research Center Advisory Boards, University Representative (2002-present)
Chairman, University Forum, Water Environment Association of Texas (WEAT) (1994-2005, 2007-present)

Research Interests: 

Physicochemical processes applied to groundwater protection: chemical fate and transport, subsurface remediation of hazardous chemicals, and environmental risk assessment.

Bill’s research emphasizes the physico-chemical mechanisms that control the release of organic compounds from soil impacted by fuel-based NAPL (nonaqueous phase liquid) mixtures (e.g., gasoline, crude oil, coal tar liquids, etc.). Current research projects are investigating the source generation and groundwater impacts of ethanol and other bioalcohols used in reformulated gasoline and on the mobility of NAPLs in soils. This research is important for understanding how to respond to spills of fuels containing alcohols as well as establishing ultimate levels of clean-up of contaminants in soil that are based on quantitative assessments of risk to the environment.

Sponsored Research / Research Grant: 

Pilot-scale Aquifer Investigation of Physical/Chemical and Microbial Impacts for Various Ethanol Fuel Blends, American Petroleum Institute, Principal Investigator, co-PI: P. Alvarez, Rice Univ. (2013-2015).
Physical/Chemical Behavior of Methanol Fuels, Shell Global Solutions, Principal Investigator (2013-2015).
Biodiesel Fuels and Groundwater Quality, Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center, Principal Investigator (2013-2015).
Isobutanol Fuel Blend 2D Physical Model Experiments, Butamax, Principal Investigator (2014-2015).
In Situ Remediation of Heavy Hydrocarbons in Vadose Zone Soils, Arizona State University/Chevron, co-PI (2013-2014)

Presentations: 

Zhang, Y., LL. Quon, J. Ma, P.J.J. Alvarez, and W.G. Rixey, "Simulation of Subsurface Source Generation and Transport from Spills of Ethanol Blended Fuels," Second International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Jacksonville, FL, June 10-13, 2013.
Ma, J., W.G. Rixey, G.E. DeVaull, B.P. Stafford, and P.J.J. Alvarez, "Bioattenuation of Methane along the Groundwater-to-Soil Surface Pathway in a Pilot-scale Aquifer Impacted by Fuel Ethanol and Implications for Explosion Risk Reduction," Eighth International Conference of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Monterey, CA, May 21-24, 2012.
Mamonkina, I., W.G. Rixey, and B.P. Stafford, “Physical Model Simulations of Spills of Ethanol-Blended Fuels,” First International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Reno, NV, June 27-30, 2011.
Ma, J., Z. Xiu, A.L. Monier, I. Mamonkina, Y. Zhang, B.P. Stafford, W.G. Rixey, and P.J.J. Alvarez, “A Pilot-scale Investigation of the Impacts of Fuel Ethanol on Groundwater Aesthetic Quality,” First International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Reno, NV, June 27-30, 2011.
Monier, A.L., D.E. Gomez, P.J.J. Alvarez, Y. Zhang, Y. He, I. Mamonkina, and W.G. Rixey, “A Pilot-scale Investigation of Plume and Microbial Dynamics in Response to Continuous Injection of Ethanol-BTEX Mixtures,” Seventh International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Monterey, CA, May 24-27, 2010.
Rixey, W.G., Gomez, D.E., and Alvarez, P.J.J., “The Attenuation of BTEX in Groundwater Impacted by Ethanol-Blended Fuels,” 21st Annual National Tanks Conference & Expo TANKS, US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST), Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS), Sacramento, CA, March 30-April 1, 2009.
Muthu, R.S., W. G. Rixey, “Residual NAPL Saturations in Unsaturated Soils for Two- and Three-Fluid Phase Systems,” 15th International Petroleum and Biofuels Environmental Conference, Albuquerque, NM, November 10-13, 2008.
Rixey, W.G.,“The Impact of Fuel Ethanol on Ground Water: Source Behavior,” 20th Annual National Tanks Conference & Expo, Atlanta, GA, March 17-19, 2008.
Stafford, B.P.,W.G. Rixey, N.L. Cápiro, P.B. Bedient, P.J.J. Alvarez, “Impacts to Groundwater Following an E95 Release without Pre-existing NAPL,” 20th Annual National Tanks Conference & Expo, US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST), Atlanta, GA, March 17-19, 2008.
Capiro, N.L.,M.L.B. Da Silva, P.J.J. Alvarez, and W.G. Rixey, “Microbial Response to a Release of Neat Ethanol onto Pre-existing NAPL,” 19th Annual National Tanks Conference and Expo, US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST), Atlanta, GA, March 17-19, 2008.
Gomez , D.E., Bedient, P.B., Alvarez, P.J.J., Rixey, W.G , and de Blanc, P.C., “Evaluation of Benzene Plume Elongation Mechanisms Exerted by Ethanol Using RT3D with a General Substrate Interaction Module,” Symposium on Environmental Implications of Fuel Ethanol,” 14th International Petroleum Environmental Conference, Houston, TX, November 9, 2007.
Stafford, B.P., and Rixey, W.G., “The Impact of Fuel Ethanol on Groundwater: Source Behavior,” 17th Annual West Coast Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water, Association for Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS), San Diego, CA, March 19-22, 2007.
Stafford, B.P., Cápiro, N.L., Rixey, W.G., and Alvarez, P.J.J., “The Impact of Fuel Ethanol on Groundwater: Source Behavior and Microbial Response,” 19th Annual National Tanks Conference and Expo, US EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST), San Antonio, TX, March 5-7, 2007.

Selected Publications: 

Ma, J., Luo, H., DeVaull, G.E., Rixey, W.G., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2014), Numerical Model Investigation for Potential Methane Explosion and Benzene Vapor Intrusion Associated with High-Ethanol Blend Releases. Environ. Sci. Technol., 48: 474-481.

Ma, J., Nossa, C.W., Xiu, Z., Rixey, W.G., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2013), Adaptive microbial population shifts in response to a continuous ethanol blend release increases natural attenuation potential. Environmental Pollution, 178: 419-425.

Ma, J., Rixey, W.G., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2013), Microbial processes influencing the transport, fate and groundwater impacts of fuel ethanol releases. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 24: 457-466.

Ma, J., Rixey, W.G., DeVaull, G.E, Stafford, B.P., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2012), Methane Bioattenuation and Implications for Explosion Risk Reduction along the Groundwater to Soil Surface Pathway above a Plume of Dissolved Ethanol. Environ. Sci. Technol., 46: 6013-6019.

He, X., Stafford, B. P. and Rixey, W. G. (2011), Ethanol-Enhanced Dissolution of a Residually Trapped Synthetic Gasoline Source, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, 31: 61–68.

Stafford, B. P. and Rixey, W. G. (2011), Distribution of Fuel-Grade Ethanol near a Dynamic Water Table, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, 31: 55–60.

Ma, J., Xiu, Z., Monier, A. L., Mamonkina, I., Zhang, Y., He, Y., Stafford, B. P., Rixey, W. G. and Alvarez, P. J. (2011), Aesthetic Groundwater Quality Impacts from a Continuous Pilot-Scale Release of an Ethanol Blend. Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, 31: 47–54.

Stafford, B. P., Cápiro, N.L., Alvarez, P.J.J., and Rixey, W.G. (2009), Pore Water Characteristics Following the Release of Neat Ethanol onto Pre-existing NAPL, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, 29, 93-104.

Cápiro, N. L., Da Silva, M.L.B., Stafford, B.P., Rixey, W.G., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2008), Microbial community response to a release of neat ethanol onto residual hydrocarbons in a pilot-scale aquifer tank, Environmental Microbiology, 10, 2236-2244.

Gomez, D. E., de Blanc, P.C., Rixey, W.G., Bedient, P.B., and Alvarez, P.J.J. (2008), Modeling benzene plume elongation mechanisms exerted by ethanol using RT3D with a general substrate interaction module, Water Resour. Res., 44, W05405, doi:10.1029/2007WR006184.

Shim, Y., Rixey, W.G, and Chellam, S. (2008), Influence of sorption on removal of tryptophan and phenylalanine during nanofiltration, Journal of Membrane Science, 323, 99-104.