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Address: Room 1808, Energy and Environment Building

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  • 个人简历
  • 教学
  • 研究领域
  • 研究成果
  • 奖励荣誉
  • Biography


    1991.09 - 1996.07, Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

    1987.10 - 1990.07, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

    1981.09 - 1986.07, B.S. in Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

    Professional Experience

    2021.01 - present, Professor, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, China.

    2018.07 - 2020.12, Professor, Environmental Science and New Energy Technology Research Center, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute, China.

    2021.07 - present, Chair Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, China.

    2009.07 - 2021.06, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, China.

    2002.09 - 2009.06, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, China.

    1996.09 - 2002.08, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, China.

    1992.06 - 1996.08, Research Associate, Environmental Engineering Lab, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. USA.

    1990.08 - 1991.08, Assistant Environmental Engineer, Beijing District Utility Company (BDUC), China.

    1988.09 - 1990.07, Research Assistant, Department of Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, China.

    1986.07 - 1988.08, Technician, Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Company (BYPC), China.

    Additional Positions

    Associate Editor (2013- present), Process Biochemistry, Elsevier

    Member, American Chemical Society (ACS)

    Member, International Water Association (IWA)

    Member, American Water Works Association (AWWA)

    Member, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)

    Member, International Association for Hydraulic Research (IAHR) - Hong Kong Chapter


    Personal Webpage

    Download CV

  • Current Courses

    Master’s & Ph.D. Advising

    1. Advanced technologies (AOT) in water and wastewater treatment

    2. Energy and resource recovery from wastewater and sludge

    3. Development and application of environmental functional materials

  • Research Interests

    Prof. Li is mainly engaged in the development of wastewater and sludge treatment technologies, including water reuse, sludge reduction, resource recovery from wastewater and the application of nanomaterials in wastewater treatment. His research interests include particle dynamics and interfacial phenomena, membrane technologies, membrane bioreactors, aerobic granular sludge, and electrochemical wastewater treatment, etc. He has developed theories and models for particle flocculation in water, membrane fouling, and sediment nutrient flux. Particularly, he used Fractal theory to modify the traditional dynamic model of condensation and precipitation. He is the first scholar who established the mathematical model of sludge granulation process, and at the same time, proposed the quorum sensing effect of aerobic granular sludge and its characterization method. He is also the first expert who proposed the high value sludge conversion technology based on fungal fermentation, which has been used to recover high value-added products such as mycelium fiber and yeast protein from sludge.


    1. 2020-2023, Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Council, CNY 8,000,000, PI, On-going.

    2. 2019-2022, National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Program), CNY 610,000, PI, On-going.

    3. 2019-2022, Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Council, CNY3000,000, PI, On-going.

    4. 2017-2020, Shenzhen Municipal Development and Reform Commission, CNY4,790,000, PI, Finished.

    5. 2017-2020, National Natural Science Foundation of China (General Program), CNY 620,000, PI, Finished.

    6. 2017-2019, Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Council, CNY 500,000, PI, Finished.

    7. 2016-2018, Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Council, CNY1,000,000, PI, Finished.

    8. 2015-2017, Shenzhen Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Council, CNY500,000, PI, Finished.

    Research Output


    - Book and book chapters                              3

    - SCI journal papers                                       220+

    - Total citations (ISI web of science)              14399+ 

    - H index                                                         59

    - Keynote and invited speeches                     30+

    - Conference presentations                            110+

    - Patents                                                         10+

  • Selected Publications

    1. Rui Miao, Bingpeng Ma, Pu Li, Pei Wang, Lei Wang, Xiao-yan Li. 2021. Mitigation mechanism of ozonation in the casein fouling of ultrafiltration membranes: Possible application in dairy wastewater treatment. Journal of Membrane Science (IF: 8.742), 629, 119307. 0 Cited.

    2. Rui Miao, Youya Zhou, Pei Wang, Wei Lu, Pu Li, Xiao-yan Li, Lei Wang. 2021. A comparison of effect mechanisms of chlorination and ozonation on the interfacial forces of protein at membrane surfaces and the implications for membrane fouling control. Journal of Membrane Science (IF: 8.742), 628, 119266. 0 Cited.

    3. Liyuan Zhang, Mengchen Zhang, Gongping Liu, Wanqin Jin, Xiao-yan Li. 2021. Fungal Cell WallGraphene Oxide Microcomposite Membrane for Organic Solvent Nanofiltration. Advanced Functional Materials (IF: 16.836), 2100110. 0 Cited.

    4. Rui Miao, Zihan Yang, Yaya Feng, Pei Wang, Pu Li, Lei Wang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Mechanism of pre-ozonation in control of protein fouling of ultrafiltration membranes: Synergistic effect between ozone oxidation and aeration. Journal of Water Process Engineering (IF: 5.485), 41, 102038. 0 Cited.

    5. Yang Luo, Jianyu Wang, Yinghong Wu, Xiao-yan Li*, Paul K Chu, Tao Qi. 2021. Substitution of quartz and clay with fly ash in the production of architectural ceramics: A mechanistic study. Ceramics International (IF: 4.527), 47 (9), 12514-12525. 0 Cited.

    6. Xuchuan Shi, Ling Zhu, Bing Li, Jiajin Liang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Surfactant-assisted thermal hydrolysis off waste activated sludge for improved dewaterability, organic release, and volatile fatty acid production. Waste Management (IF: 7.145), 124, 339-347. 0 Cited.

    7. Yuchun Yang, Craig W Herbold, Man-Young Jung, Wei Qin, Mingwei Cai, Huan Du, Jih-Gaw Lin, Xiao-yan Li, Meng Li, Ji-Dong Gu. 2021. Survival strategies of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) in a full-scale WWTP treating mixed landfill leachate containing copper ions and operating at low-intensity of aeration. Water Research (IF: 11.236), 191, 116798. 2 Cited.

    8. Jia-jin Liang, Bing Li, Lei Wen, Ruo-hong Li, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Thermal Hydrolysis of Wastewater Sludge Followed by Fungal Fermentation for Organic Recovery and Hyphae Fiber Production. Engineering (IF: 7.553), 7(2), 203-211. 2 Cited.

    9. Xiaowei Zhang, Han Meng, Yuchun Yang, Wensheng Lan, Weidong Wang, Paul K. S. Lam, Xiao-yan Li, Ji-Dong Gu. 2021. Diversity, abundance, and distribution of anammox bacteria in shipping channel sediment of Hong Kong by analysis of DNA and RNA. ECOTOXICOLOGY (IF: 2.823), 101007. 0 Cited.

    10. Rui Miao, Xiaoyan Nie, Bingpeng Ma, Zihan Yang, Pei Wang, Lei Wang, Xiao-yan Li. 2021. Unravelling the critical mechanism by which pre-ozonation affects ultrafiltration membrane fouling via investigation of the relative size and interfacial forces. Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology (IF: 4.251), 7, 1292-1300. 0 Cited.

    11. Jia-jin Liang, Bing Li, Ling Zhu, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Hydrothermal treatment and biorefinery of sewage sludge for waste reduction and production of fungal hyphae fibers and volatile fatty acids. Journal of Cleaner Production (IF:9.297), 289, 125715. 0 Cited.

    12. Chao Yang, Shanshan Shang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Fabrication of sulfur-doped TiO2 nanotube array as a conductive interlayer of PbO2 anode for efficient electrochemical oxidation of organic pollutants. SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY (IF: 7.312), 258, 118035. 6 Cited.

    13. Han Meng, Xiaowei Zhang, Zhichao Zhou, Ling Luo, Wensheng Lan, Jih-Gaw Lin, Xiao-yan Li, Ji-Dong Gu. 2021. Simultaneous occurrence and analysis of both anammox and n-damo bacteria in five full-scale wastewater treatment plants. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation (IF: 4.320), 156, 105112. 3 Cited.

    14. Ruo-hong Li, Xuechao Guo, Bing Li, Lin Lin, Pu Li, Lei Wen, Jiajin Liang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2021. Iron-enhanced primary sedimentation and acidogenic sludge fermentation to achieve self-sufficient organic carbon supply for enhanced nutrient removal in wastewater treatment. Resources, Conservation and Recycling (IF: 10.204), 164, 105220. 0 Cited.

    15. Huanyu Tao, Jiawei Zhang, Jianghong Shi, Wei Guo, Xiaowei Liu, Mengtao Zhang, Hui Ge, Xiao-yan Li. 2021. Occurrence and emission of phthalates, bisphenol A, and oestrogenic compounds in concentrated animal feeding operations in Southern China. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety (IF: 6.291), 207, 111521. 0 Cited.

    16. Yuchun Yang, Meng Li, Zhong Hu, Hojae Shim, Jih-Gaw Lin, Xiao-yan Li, Ji-Dong Gu. 2020. Deep insights into the green nitrogen removal by anammox in four full-scale WWTPs treating landfill leachate based on 16S rRNA gene and transcripts by 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing. Journal of Cleaner Production (IF: 9.297), 276, 124176. 5 Cited.

    17. Yiang Fan, Ying Zhou, Yong Feng, Pei Wang, Xiao-yan Li, Kaimin Shih. 2020. Fabrication of reactive flat-sheet ceramic membranes for oxidative degradation of ofloxacin by peroxymonosulfate. Journal of Membrane Science (IF: 8.742), 611, 118302. 5 Cited.

    18. Lin Lin, Jiahui Hu, Jiahua Liu, Xin He, Bing Li, Xiao-yan Li*. 2020. Selective Ammonium Removal from Synthetic Wastewater by Flow-Electrode Capacitive Deionization Using a Novel K2Ti2O5-Activated Carbon Mixture Electrode. Environmental Science & Technology (IF: 9.028), 54 (19), 12723-12731. 2 Cited.

    19. Yuchun Yang, Meng Li, Hui Li, Xiao-yan Li, Jih-Gaw Lin, Martin Denecke, Ji-Dong Gu. 2020. Specific and effective detection of anammox bacteria using PCR primers targeting the 16S rRNA gene and functional genes. Science of The Total Environment (IF: 7.963), 734, 139387. 8 Cited.

    20. Yan-xia Zhao, Xiao-yan Li, Chang Tian, Jie-xi Wang. 2020. Production of carbon-doped titanium dioxide (C–TiO2) from polytitanium-coagulated sludge as an adsorbent or photocatalyst for pollutant removals. Journal of Cleaner Production (IF: 9.297), 267, 121979. 5 Cited.

    21. Ruo-hong Li, Jin-li Cui, Jia-hui Hu, Wei-jun Wang, Bing Li, Xiang-dong Li, Xiao-yan Li*. Transformation of Fe–P Complexes in Bioreactors and P Recovery from Sludge: Investigation by XANES Spectroscopy. Environmental Science & Technology (IF: 9.028), 54 (7), 4641-4650. 4 Cited.

    22. Yan-xia Zhao, Pu Li, Ruo-hong Li, Xiao-yan Li*, Characterization and mitigation of the fouling of flat-sheet ceramic membranes for direct filtration of the coagulated domestic wastewater. Journal of hazardous materials (IF: 10.588), 385, 121557. 11 Cited.

    23. Guang-Jie Zhou, Lin Lin, Xiao-yan Li, Kenneth Mei Yee Leung. 2020.  Removal of emerging contaminants from wastewater during chemically enhanced primary sedimentation and acidogenic sludge fermentation. Water Research (IF: 11.236), 175, 115646. 7 Cited.

    24. Jiayu Zhang, Renxin Zhao, Lijia Cao, Yusha Lei, Jie Liu, Jie Feng, Wenjie Fu, Xiao-yan Li, Bing Li. 2020. High-efficiency biodegradation of chloramphenicol by enriched bacterial consortia: Kinetics study and bacterial community characterization. Journal of hazardous materials (IF: 10.588), 384, 121344. 16 Cited.

    25. Ying-yu Li, Lin Lin, Xiao-yan Li*. 2020. Chemically enhanced primary sedimentation and acidogenesis of organics in sludge for enhanced nitrogen removal in wastewater treatment. Journal of Cleaner Production (IF: 9.297), 244, 118705. 9 Cited.

    26. Yuchun Yang, Jie Pan, Zhichao Zhou, Jiapeng Wu, Yang Liu, Jih-Gaw Lin, Yiguo Hong, Xiao-yan Li, Meng Li, Ji-Dong Gu. 2020. Complex microbial nitrogen-cycling networks in three distinct anammox-inoculated wastewater treatment systems. Water research (IF: 11.236), 168, 115142. 34 Cited.

    27. Yi-bo Hu, Miaoyue Zhang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Improved longevity of nanoscale zero-valent iron with a magnesium hydroxide coating shell for the removal of Cr (VI) in sand columns. Environment international (IF: 9.621), 133, 105249. 11 Cited.

    28. Huan-yu Tao, Hui Ge, Jianghong Shi, Xiaowei Liu, Wei Guo, Mengtao Zhang, Yaobin Meng, Xiao-yan Li. 2019. The characteristics of oestrone mobility in water and soil by the addition of Ca-biochar and Fe–Mn-biochar derived from Litchi chinensis Sonn. Environmental geochemistry and health, (IF: 4.609), 42, 1601-1615. 5 Cited.

    29. Long Pan, Xiangru Zhang, Mengting Yang, Jiarui Han, Jingyi Jiang, Wanxin Li, Bo Yang, Xiao-yan Li. 2019. Effects of dechlorination conditions on the developmental toxicity of a chlorinated saline primary sewage effluent: Excessive dechlorination is better than not enough. Science of The Total Environment (IF: 7.963), 692, 117-126. 10 Cited.

    30. Cai-jie Wei, Xiao-yan Li, Yue-feng Xie, Xiao-mao Wang. 2019. Direct photo transformation of tetracycline and sulfanomide group antibiotics in surface water: Kinetics, toxicity and site modeling. Science of The Total Environment (IF: 7.963), 686, 1-9. 8 Cited.

    31. Jie Liu, Bing Li, Yingying Wang, Guijuan Zhang, Xiaotao Jiang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Passage and community changes of filterable bacteria during microfiltration of a surface water supply. Environment international (IF: 9.621), 131, 104998. 6 Cited.

    32. Lijia Cao, Jiayu Zhang, Renxin Zhao, Yu Deng, Jie Liu, Wenjie Fu, Yusha Lei, Tong Zhang, Xiao-yan Li, Bing Li. Genomic characterization, kinetics, and pathways of sulfamethazine biodegradation by Paenarthrobacter sp. A01. Environment international (IF: 9.621), 131, 104961. 20 Cited.

    33. Xuechao Guo, Bing Li, Renxin Zhao, Jiayu Zhang, Lin Lin, Guijuan Zhang, Ruo-hong Li, Jie Liu, Pu Li, Yingyu Li, Xiao-yan Li. 2019. Performance and bacterial community of moving bed biofilm reactors with various biocarriers treating primary wastewater effluent with a low organic strength and low C/N ratio. Bioresource technology (IF: 9.642), 287, 121424. 26 Cited.

    34. Lin Lin, Long-hang Tam, Xue Xia, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Electro-fermentation of iron-enhanced primary sedimentation sludge in a two-chamber bioreactor for product separation and resource recovery. Water Research (IF: 11.236), 157, 145-154. 19 Cited.

    35. Guang-Jie Zhou, Xiao-yan Li, Kenneth Mei Yee Leung. 2019. Retinoids and oestrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals in saline sewage treatment plants: Removal efficiencies and ecological risks to marine organisms. Environment international (IF: 9.621), 127, 103-113. 11 Cited.

    36. Xingwen Lu, Jiani Yang, Xiao-yan Li, Feiyun Sun, Fei Wang, Yuanqing Chao. 2019. Effects of phase transformation on properties of alumina ceramic membrane: A new assessment based on quantitative X-ray diffraction (QXRD). Chemical Engineering Science (IF: 4.311), 199, 349-358. 7 Cited.

    37. Yan-xia Zhao, Pu Li, Ruo-hong Li, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Direct filtration for the treatment of the coagulated domestic sewage using flat-sheet ceramic membranes. Chemosphere (IF: 7.086), 223, 383-390. 18 Cited.

    38. Ruo-hong Li, Wei-jun Wang, Bing Li, Jia-yu Zhang, Jie Liu, Gui-juan Zhang, Xue-chao Guo, Xi-hui Zhang, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Acidogenic phosphorus recovery from the wastewater sludge of the membrane bioreactor systems with different iron-dosing modes. Bioresource technology (IF: 9.642), 280, 360-370. 14 Cited.

    39. Wentao Shang, Rui Wang, Wenyi Dong, Xiao-yan Li, Mu Li, Lingyan Zhao, Songwen Yang, Feiyun Sun. 2019. Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) technique visualizes and characterizes concentration polarization and fouling layer in the cross-flow nanofiltration. Separation and Purification Technology (IF: 7.312), 212, 520-527. 3 Cited.

    40. Yan-xia Zhao, Xiao-yan Li. 2019. Polymerized titanium salts for municipal wastewater preliminary treatment followed by further purification via crossflow filtration for water reuse. Separation and Purification Technology (IF: 7.312), 211, 207-217. 13 Cited.

    41. Renxin Zhao, Jie Feng, Jie Liu, Wenjie Fu, Xiao-yan Li, Bing Li. 2019. Deciphering of microbial community and antibiotic resistance genes in activated sludge reactors under high selective pressure of different antibiotics. Water research (IF: 11.236), 151, 388-402. 72 Cited.

    42. Wenjie Fu, Jing Fu, Xiao-yan Li, Bing Li, Xiaomao Wang. 2019. Occurrence and fate of PPCPs in typical drinking water treatment plants in China. Environmental geochemistry and health (IF: 4.609), 41 (1), 5-15. 11 Cited.

    43. Bo-yang Meng, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. In Situ Visualization of Concentration Polarization during Membrane Ultrafiltration Using Microscopic Laser-Induced Fluorescence. Environmental Science & Technology (IF: 9.028), 53, 2660-2669. 10 Cited.

    44. Liyuan Zhang, Liyuan Chai, Mengran Wang, Yuekun Lai, Yanqing Lai, Xiao-yan Li*. 2019. Controllable synthesis of carbon nanosheets derived from oxidative polymerisation of m-phenylenediamine. Journal of colloid and interface science (IF: 8.128), 533, 437-444. 3 Cited.


    1. Li RH, Lin L, Li XY*. (2021). Book: Sustainable resource management: technologies for recovery and reuse of energy and waste materials. Chapter: Recovery of Phosphorus from Wastewater and Sludge. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA,

    2. Nu X.R., Li H.B., Gu J.D. and Li X.Y. (2007) Kinetics and metabolic pathway of melatonin biodegradation by a bacterium isolated from the mangrove sediment, Environmental Biodegradation Research Trends, Frank Columbus.

    3. Feng Y.J., Li X.Y., You H. and Ding F. Electrochemical Technology in Environmental Engineering (ISBN 7-5025-3784-8), 2002, Chemical Industrial Press, Beijing, China


    1. A system and method combining membrane bioreactor and phosphorus recovery process for sewage treatment, Li XY, Li RH, Li B and Guo XC, Chinese patent No. 201710676416.9.

    2. A vibrating flat ceramic membrane bioreactor process for enhanced phosphorus removal and its sewage treatment system, Li XY, Li RH, Li B, Wang WJ, Chinese patent No. 201710676448.9.

    3. A method for preparing anode material of lithium ion battery with titanium-containing sludge, Li XY, Zhao YX, Chinese patent No. 201711095419.X.

    4. A preparation method and application of coated nano-zero-valent iron material, Li XY, Hu YB, Chinese patent No. 201710232480.8.

    5. An integrated short-cut highly efficient sewage treatment device and method, Li XY, Lin L, Li RH, Chinese patent No. 201811556651.3.

    6. A biofilm reactor and method for highly efficient nitrogen removal of sewage, Li XY, Lin L, Li XY, Chinese patent No. 201811557791.2.

    7. A new sediment odour control method, Li XY and Wang XM, Chinese patent No. ZL 2011 1 0154295.4.

    8. A new sediment odour control method, Li XY, Zhang JJ, Wang XM and Yang SF, Chinese patent application No. ZL 2011 1 0154297.3.

    9. Doping of inorganic minerals to hydrophobic membrane surface, Shih K, Li XY, Wang XM and Zhang T, Patent Corporation Treaty (PCT) application (No. PCT/CN2011/001490), filed on 09 January 2012.

    10. Doping of inorganic minerals to hydrophobic membrane surface, Li XY, Wang XM and Zhang T, U.S. Patent pending (No. 13/217,837), filed on 09 August 2011.

    11. Doping of inorganic minerals to hydrophobic membrane surface, Shih K, Li XY, Wang XM and Zhang T, Provisional U.S. Patent (No. 61/379,505), filed on 02 September 2010.


  • Awards and Honors

    2019Second-Class Award in Science and Technology, Ministry of Environmental Protection, China.

    2014Second-Class State Natural Science Award, State Council, China.

    2012First-Class Award in Natural Science, Ministry of Education, China.

    2011NSFC Academic Collaboration Award, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

    2008Outstanding Overseas Young Researcher Fund, National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

    2004Outstanding Young Researcher Award, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

    1997Outstanding Doctoral Thesis, Association of Environmental Engineering Professors (AEEP, now AEESP), USA.

    2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, ESI top 1% highly cited author (Environment & Ecology), ISI Web of Science.