Silke Schiewer

Silke Schiewer


  • 1996 Ph.D., Chemical Eng. (Specialization: Bio-environmental), McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 1993 Dipl.-Ing. (M. Sc.), Mechanical Eng., Technical University Braunschweig, Germany
  • 1990-91 Exchange Student, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada

Past Work Experience

  • 99-01 Research Group Leader, ISA (Dept. of Env. Eng.), RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
  • 98-99 Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, HKBU University, Hong Kong
  • 96-97 Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Chem. Eng., McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Courses Taught

  • ES 210 Dynamics
  • ES 341 Fluid Mechanics
  • CE 441 Environmental Engineering
  • ENVE 645 Chemical and Physical Unit Processes
  • ENVE 646 Biological Unit Processes
  • ENVE 647 Biotechnology
  • ENVE 650 Advanced Topics
  • ENVE 653 Measurements Laboratory
At other universities
  • Cell Biology
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Plant Diversity
  • Genetics and Evolution

Service Activities

  • Program Coordinator for EQS and ENVE MS programs
  • Chair, graduate admissions committee Civil & Environmental Eng.
  • Member UAF INDS PhD admissions committee
  • Reviewer for the journals: Environ. Sci. Technol., Water Research, J. Chem. Tech. Biotechnol., Environmental Technology, Industrial Eng. Chemistry Res., Science of the Total Environment, J. Soil Sedim. Contam., Engineering in Life Sciences, Polar Record, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, J. Membrane Science, Separation & Purification Technol., Desalination, J. Environmental Management, Marine Chemistry, Bioresource Technology, Environmental Chemistry, Journal of Hazardous Materials.
  • Reviewer for grant applications: NSF, CRDF of the Department of State, Hong Kong Research Grants Council , Center for Global Change, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Sea Grant, CICEET

Research Interests

  • Innovative wastewater treatment
  • Biosorption processes for the removal of heavy metals from wastewater
  • Wastewater treatment using membrane-bioreactors
  • Membrane filtration processes for drinking water production
  • Endocrine disrupting substances in wastewater and the environment
  • Fate of contaminants in the environment
  • Bioremediation of soils contaminated with hydrocarbons

Recent Research Projects

  • Biodegradation and transport of crude oil in arctic Alaska beach sediments
  • Removal of heavy metals from wastewater using citrus peels as biosorbents
  • Bioremediation of soils contaminated with diesel (Syntroleum or fish biodiesel)
  • Membrane filtration of surface waters with high DOM content
  • Air sparging for reducing fouling in membrane bioreactors
  • Preventing microbial contamination of drinking water in rural Alaska
  • Use of crab-shell based biosorbents for removal of arsenic


Articles in Refereed Journals

  1. Chatterjee, A.; Schiewer, S.: Effect of competing cations (Pb, Cd, Zn and Ca) in fixed bed column biosorption and desorption from citrus peels. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 225, Issue 2 (Feb. 2014) 1857.
  2. Chatterjee, A.; Schiewer, S.: Multi-resistance kinetic models for biosorption of Cd by raw and immobilized citrus peels in batch and packed-bed columns. Chemical Engineering Journal 244 (May 2014) 105-116.
  3. Horel, A.; Schiewer, S.: Influence of inocula with prior hydrocarbon exposure on biodegradation rates of diesel, synthetic diesel, and fish-biodiesel in Soil Chemosphere 109 (published online Feb 2014). 150-156.
  4. Schiewer, S.; Iqbal, M.: Physicochemical characterization and mechanism analysis of native and protonated grapefruit peels adsorbing cadmium. Desalination and Water Treatment. (published online June 2013). DOI: 10.1080/19443994.2013.811110
  5. Njikam, E.; Schiewer, S.: Optimization and kinetic modeling for cadmium desorption from citrus peels: a process for biosorbent regeneration. Journal of Hazardous Materials 213-214 (April 2012) 242-248.
  6. Chatterjee, A.; Schiewer, S.: Biosorption of cadmium(II) ions by citrus peels in a packed bed column: application of mathematical models for prediction of breakthrough curve. CLEAN – Soil, Air, Water  39 No. 9 (Sept. 2011) 874-881
  7. Horel, A.; Schiewer, S.: Influence of constant and fluctuating temperature on biodegradation rates of fish biodiesel blends contaminating Alaskan sand. Chemosphere, 83 No 5 (April 2011) 652-660.
  8. Schiewer, S.; Iqbal, M.: The role of pectin in Cd binding by orange peel biosorbents: a comparison of peels, depectinated peels and pectin. Journal of Hazardous Materials 177 No1-3 (May 2010) 899-907.
  9. Chaudhuri, A.; Mitra, M.; Schwarz, J.G.; Schiewer, S.: Copper, Zinc, Nickel, and Cobalt biosorption potential of Fucus vesiculosus (Phaeophyceae) and Gracilaria tikvahiae (Rhodophyta)Water Practice and Technology 4 No 2(2009)
  10. Iqbal, M.; Schiewer, S.:; R. Cameron: Mechanistic understanding and performance of biosorption of metal ions by grapefruit peel using FTIR spectroscopy, kinetics and adsorption isotherms modeling, alkali and alkaline metal displacement and EDX analysis Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 84 (Oct 2009) 1516-1526.
  11. Horel, A.; Schiewer, S.: Investigation of the physical and chemical parameters affecting biodegradation of diesel and synthetic diesel fuel contaminating Alaskan soils Cold Regions Science and Technology, 58 No 3 (Sept. 2009) 113-119.
  12. Chambers, M.; Ford, M.R.; White, D.M.; Barnes, D.L.; Schiewer, S.: Transport of fecal bacteria by boots and vehicle tires in a rural Alaskan community. Journal of Environmental Management 90 No 2 (Feb 2009) 961-966.
  13. Schiewer, S.; Balaria, A.: Biosorption of Pb2+ by original and protonated citrus peels: equilibrium, kinetics and mechanism Chemical Engineering Journal 146 (Feb 2009) 211-219.
  14. Balaria, A.; Schiewer, S.: Assessment of biosorption mechanism for Pb binding by citrus pectin. Separation and Purification Technology 63 (Dec 2008) 577-581.
  15. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.:Long term flux improvement by air sparging and backflushing for a membrane bioreactor, and modeling of permeability decline. Desalination 230 (Sept 2008) 193-204.
  16. Schiewer, S.; Patil, S.: Modeling the effect of pH on biosorption of heavy metals by citrus peels. Journal of Hazardous Materials 157(Aug. 2008) 8-17.
  17. Schiewer, S.; Patil, S.: Pectin-rich fruit wastes as biosorbents for heavy metal removal: equilibrium and kinetics. Bioresource Technology 99 No 6 (April 2008) 1896-1903.
  18. Chambers, M.K.; Ford, M.R.; White, D.M.; Barnes, D.L.; Schiewer, S.: Distribution and transport of fecal bacteria at spring thaw in a rural Alaskan community. Journal of Cold Regions Engineering 22 No 1 (Mar. 2008) 16-37.
  19. Adhikari, H.; Barnes, D.; Schiewer, S.; White, D.: Total coliform survival characteristics in frozen soils. Journal of Environmental Engineering -ASCE 133 No12 (Dec. 2007) 1098-1105.
  20. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.: Anti-Fouling application of Air Sparging and Backflushing for MBR. Journal of Membrane Science 283 No. 1-2, (Oct. 2006) 273-280.
  21. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.: Direct filtration of natural and simulated river water with air sparging and sponge ball application. Desalination 197 (Oct. 2006) 190-204
  22. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.: Dimensionless numbers for the analysis of air sparging aimed to reduce fouling in tubular membranes of a membrane bioreactor. Desalination, 197 (Oct. 2006) 9-22.
  23. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.:Resistance analysis for enhanced wastewater membrane filtration with application of air sparging and back flushing. Journal of Membrane Science 280 (Sept. 2006) 284-297.
  24. Schiewer, S.; Niemeyer, T.: Soil heating and optimized nutrient addition for accelerating bioremediation in cold climates. Polar Record 42 No. 220 (Jan. 2006), 23-31.
  25. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.: Long-term study of an intermittent air sparged MBR for synthetic wastewater treatment. Journal of Membrane Science 260 (July 2005), 56-65.
  26. Psoch, C.; Schiewer, S.: Critical Flux aspects of air sparging and backflushing in membrane bioreactors. Desalination175 (2005), No. 1, 61-71.
  27. Schiewer, S.; Meuser, K.; Wintgens, T.: Verfahrenstechnische Aspekte des Verhaltens von endokrinen Substanzen in Kläranlagen (Process aspects of the behavior of endocrine disrupters in sewage treatment plants). Wasser & Boden, 53 (2001), No. 1-2, 10-15.
  28. Schiewer, S.; Wong, M.H.: Ionic Strength Effects in Biosorption of Metals by Marine Algae. Chemosphere41 (2000), 271-282.
  29. Schiewer, S.; Wong, M.H.: Metal Binding Stoichiometry and Isotherm Choice in Biosorption. Environ. Sci. Technol.  33  (1999), 3821-3828.
  30. Schiewer, S.: Modelling Complexation and Electrostatic Attraction in Heavy Metal Biosorption by Sargassum Biomass: J. Applied Phycology11 (1999), 79-87.
  31. Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Ionic Strength and Electrostatic Effects in Biosorption of Divalent Metal Ions and Protons. Environ. Sci. Technol.  31  (1997), 2478-2485.
  32. Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Ionic Strength and Electrostatic Effects in Biosorption of Protons. Environ. Sci. Technol.  31  (1997), 1863-1871.
  33. Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Modeling Multi-Metal Ion-Exchange in Biosorption. Environ. Sci. Technol.  30  (1996), 2921-2927.
  34. Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Mathematical Evaluation of the Experimental and Modeling Errors in Biosorption. Biotechnol. Techniques  9  (1995), 843-848.
  35. Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Modeling of the Proton-Metal Ion Exchange in Biosorption. Environ. Sci. Technol.  29  (1995), 3049-3058.
  36. Vonderbank, R.S.; Schiewer, S.: Modellierung des Kohlenstaubabbrandes unter Berücksichtigung physikalischer Stoffeigenschaften.  Brennstoff, Wärme, Kraft 46  (1994), 239-246.
  37. Vonderbank, R.S.; Leithner, R.; Schiewer, S.; Hardow, B.: Modellierung paralleler Kalzinierung und Sulfatierung bei der SO2-Einbindung durch das Trocken-Additiv-Verfahren. Brennstoff, Wärme, Kraft 45  (1993), 443-450.
  38. Vonderbank, R.S.; Schiewer, S.: Modellierung paralleler Calcinierung und Sulfatierung von CaCO3-Partikeln. Chem.-Ing.-Tech. 65  (1993), 321-323.


  • Schiewer, S.: Multi-Metal Ion Exchange in Biosorption.Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Chem. Eng.,McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1996.
  • Schiewer, S.: Übertragung des kombinierten Modells auf die Kohleverbrennung. Diplomarbeit(Master's thesis), IWBT,Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany, 1993.

Book Chapters

  • Rike, A.G.; Schiewer, S.; Filler, D.: Section 5: Temperature effects on biodegradation of petroleum contaminants in cold soils. In: Filler, D.; Barnes, D.; Snape, I.; Rike, A.G. (Eds.) Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Cold Regions, Cambridge University Press 2008, p. 84-108.
  • Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Biosorption by Marine Algae. In: Valdes, J.J. (Ed.):Bioremediation. Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2000, 139-169.
  • Schiewer, S.; Volesky, B.: Biosorption Processes for Heavy Metal Removal. In: Lovley, D. R.(Ed.):Environmental Microbe-Metal Interactions. ASM Press, Washington, DC, 2000, 329-362.
  • Volesky, B.; Schiewer, S.: Biosorption of Metals. In: Flickinger, M.C.; Drew, S. W. (Eds.):Encyclopedia of Bioprocess Technology: Fermentation, Biocatalysis, and Bioseparation. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1999, 433-453.