Contact Dr Tao Lyu

Areas of expertise

  • Biomass and Waste
  • Waste Management and Resource Efficiency
  • Water Science and Engineering


Dr Tao Lyu has been working at Cranfield University since April 2020. He is a lecturer in Green Technologies and Environmental Engineering MSc course director (JSU-CU Institute). He was awarded a PhD in Environmental Sciences from Aarhus University, Denmark (2016). His PhD research focused on emerging organic contaminants (micropollutants) removal in water and wastewater by Nature-based solutions, in particular Constructed Wetlands. After completing the project in the same department as an assistant researcher (2016.09-12), he moved to Nottingham Trent University as a Research Fellow (GCRF funded) in 2017. In September 2019, he was appointed as a Module Leader and lectured two modules to BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences students. He expanded his research area on advanced nanotechnology development (e.g. nanobubble technology) for natural water restoration, eutrophication control, Harmful Algal bloom removal and sediment remediation.

Research opportunities

Dr Tao Lyu works at the intersection of environmental engineering, chemistry and nanoscience, focusing on exploring and innovating nature-based solutions (NBS) and integrating them with other green technologies (e.g. nanobubble technology) for sustainable water and wastewater management. Dr Lyu's track record includes understanding the biogeochemical processes of nutrients, quantifying multiple benefits, and enhancing the treatment of emerging chemical and microbial micropollutants in constructed wetlands and natural aquatic environments. His nanobubble technology research has also been expanded to research in agriculture, photocatalytic water treatment, disinfection, anaerobic digestion etc.

Dr Lyu's research has been sponsored by EPSRC (EP/Y003101/1), BBSRC (BB/Y008332/1), RAEng (TSP2021\100376 & TSP-2324-6\136), the Royal Society (RG\R1\241357), the Environment Agency, water utilities, and other industrial sectors. Dr Lyu coordinates a PFAS working group for BBSRC-EBNet and serves as an editorial board member for 2 international journals. Dr Lyu has published >80 peer-reviewed articles, mostly in leading journals (e.g. 13 papers in Water Research and ES&T).

Dr Lyu is interested in supervising PhD and MSc students with the following research interests. 1) Nature-based solutions for wastewater treatment, e.g. treatment wetlands and microalgae technologies; 2) Sustainable technologies for the remediation of micropollutants (e.g. antibiotics) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR); 3) Environmental nano-materials: nanobubble technology development and its application in water treatment, disinfection, natural water and soil remediation and organic farming; 4) Eutrophication and Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) control, in-situ sediment remediation; 5) Biogeochemical cycling of nutrients (N, P) and metals (Fe, As, Cd etc.,) in water and sediment. Postdocs, visiting scholars, students, Self-funded PhD and student placements are also welcome. Please get in touch by email for more details.

Current activities

Dr Lyu is currently supervising five PhD students and one MSc(Res) student. At Cranfield, he has supervised one MSc(Res) student, nine MSc thesis projects and four MSc group projects with successful completion. His current research projects include:

- 2024-2029, BBSRC (BB/Y008332/1). EBIC: Environmental Biotechnology Innovation Centre. Co-I, £13.2M

- 2024-2025, EPSRC Research Grant (EP/Y003101/1). NbSmart: Engineering Nature-based Solutions to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance. PI, £200K

- 2024-2025, The Royal Society research grant (RG\R1\241357). Revealing microenvironment alterations in novel nanobubble aerated phyto-biological wastewater treatment processes. PI, £57.4K

- 2024, Royal Academy of Engineering (TSP-2324-6\136). Reassuring the Safety of Treated Pharmaceutical Industrial Wastewater for Reuse in Jordan using Innovative Nature-based Solutions. UK PI, £50K

- 2024, Cranfield Global Research Fund. A step change in ‘low-chemical’ water treatment – using developments in photocatalytic processes for enhanced removal of pollutants from water. Co-I, £14.6k

- 2023-2026, Environment Agency, UK and Irish water utilities. Developing the treatment wetlands for phosphors removal and carbon sequestration. PhD studentship. Co-I

- 2022-2025, EPSRC DTP (EP/T518104/1-2741118) and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (co-funding). Reducing the environmental impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antibiotics in constructed wetlands for sewage treatment. PhD studentship. PI

- 2023-2024, Papercourt Sailing Club. Sustainable strategies for sailing club lake weed and algae management. PI

Completed Projects

- 2023, Anglian Water. Nature-based solutions for PFAS: scoping new opportunities for legacy chemicals at Anglian Water. PI,

- 2021-2023, Royal Academy of Engineering (TSP2021\100376). Development of a nature-based solution for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment in Jordan. UK PI, £80K

- 2023, NERC (NE/X018326/1) - discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions in a changing world, Cranfield Co-I

- 2022, Water company (NDA). Edge-of-field treatment wetlands, as a nature-based solution, for river water purification. PI

- 2022, Environment Agency. Constructed wetlands, micropollutants and climate change. PI

- 2022, Heathrow Airport. Floating wetlands and modified local soil technologies for aquatic environments health improvement. Co-I

- 2022, NERC - discipline Hopping for Environmental Solutions in a changing world. Cranfield Co-I

- 2021-2022, International company (NDA) and Severn Trent. Improving the hydraulic performance of constructed wetlands for net zero wastewater treatment. Co-I

2021, The Environment Agency, UK and Irish water utilities. Summarising the evidence base on the use of treatment wetlands for phosphorus removal. Co-I


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Royal Society
  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Environment Agency
  • Heathrow Airport Ltd
  • Anglian Water
  • Welsh Water
  • Uisce Éireann (Irish Water)
  • Northumbrian Water
  • Severn Trent PLC
  • South West Water
  • Southern Water
  • Thames Water
  • United Utilities Group PLC
  • Wessex Water
  • Yorkshire Water


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers