HOU Deyi


Deyi Hou


Division of Soil and Groundwater Environment


Professor, Director of Division


School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China




Education background

1998.9 – 2002.6 B.S. in Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, China

2002.9 – 2003.6 M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, USA

2003.6 – 2005.9 D.E. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, USA

2011.10 – 2014.11 PhD in Environmental Engineering, University of Cambridge, UK


Prof. Deyi Hou is the Director of Soil and Groundwater Division at Tsinghua University. He is also serving as the Vice Chair of the United Nations International Network of Soil Pollution (INSOP). Prof. Hou obtained his BS from Tsinghua University, MS from Stanford University, and PhD from University of Cambridge. His research at Tsinghua University (2015-present) has focused on contaminant transport and distribution in soil and groundwater, synthesis of innovative environmental functional materials, green and sustainable remediation. He also had over 10 years of industrial experience in the US and the UK in the field of soil and groundwater remediation (2006-2015). Prof. Hou has conducted numerous projects involving soil and groundwater pollution at site-level, regional-level, and national level. He has published 5 books and over 200 journal papers on top journals including Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change, Nature Sustainability, Nature Review Earth & Environment, etc. Prof. Deyi Hou is currently serving as the Editor-in-Chief for Soil Use and Management (flagship journal of British Society of Soil Science), and Associate Editor for Science of the Total Environment. He is also a Clarivate “Highly Cited Researcher”. He was awarded by the National Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars, received ES&T 2020 best paper award, and several ministerial/provincial level awards.

Professional Services

1. Vice Chair, United Nations International Network on Soil Pollution (INSOP), 2021-present

2. Editor-in-Chief, Soil Use and Management, 2019-present

3. Editor, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2019-2020

4. Associate Editor, Science of the Total Environment, 2018-present

5. Committee vice chair, Chinese Society For Environmental Sciences, Soil and Groundwater Environment Committee, 2022-present

6. Committee vice chair, Ecological Society of China, Pollution Ecology Committee, 2022-present

7. Council Member, British Society of Soil Science, 2020-present

8. Committee member, Soil Science Society of China, International Cooperation and Communication Committee, 2021-present

9. Committee member, Soil Science Society of China, Soil Environment Committee, 2021-present

10. Committee member, Soil Science Society of China, Soil Remediation Committee, 2021-present

11. Committee member, Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society, Groundwater Science and Engineering Committee, 2021-present

12. Committee member, China Association for Quality Inspection, Water Environment Engineering Technology and Equipment Committee, 2021-present

13. Invited Reviewer for over 50 academic journals including Nature Sustainability, EST, JHM, JCP, STOTEN, etc

14. Invited Expert Evaluator for 1) European Commission's Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship program; 2) Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong; 3) Singapore National Environment Agency; 4) Chinese National Natural Science Foundation; 5) Chinese Ministry of Environment-Global Environmental Fund program; 6) Chinese Ministry of Education; 7) Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology

Areas of Research Interests

1. Fate and transport of heavy metals, microplastics, and volatile organic compounds in porous media

2. Regional and global distribution of soil and groundwater pollutants

3. Synthesis of innovative environmental functional materials: biochar, nano-material, controlled release material

4. Green and sustainable remediation technologies for the cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater

5. Sustainability assessment for environmental remediation, waste management, and policy intervention

(My research group has open positions for MS and PhD students, full time RA, and postdoctoral researchers, please email your CV to houdeyi@tsinghua.edu.cn)

Honors and Awards

1. Capital Ecological Civilization Award, Beijing Government, 2022

2. Science and Technology Advancement Prize, 1st Class, Guangdong Government, 2021

3. Winners of International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva, Silver Medal, 2021.

4. 2020 Environmental Science and Technology Best Paper Awards, ES&T journal, 2021

5. 2020 Best Paper Award, Research of Environmental Sciences journal, 2021

6. Environmental Technology Advancement Prize, 1st Class, China Association of Environmental Protection Industry, 2020

7. Science and Technology Advancement Prize, 2nd Class, Beijing Government, 2020

8. Talented Young Scientist Award, Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, 2019

9. Best Teaching Award, 1st Class, Tsinghua University, 2019

10. Environmental Science and Technology Prize, 2nd Class, Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, 2019

Academic Achievement


1. Hou, Deyi, Luo, J., Qi, S., Wang, Y., Cao, X. Groundwater Monitoring Theories and Methods. Science Press, 2022.

2. Hou, Deyi, Shen, Z., O'Connor, D. Contaminated Site Risk Control Technologies and Case Studies. Chemical Industry Press, 2021.

3. Hou, Deyi, Sustainable Remediation of Contaminated Soil and Groundwater: Materials, Processes, and Assessment, Elsevier, 2020.

4. Hou, Deyi, Green and Sustainable Remediation of Contaminated Site: Methods and Applications, Science Press, 2018.

5. Ok, Y.S., Rinklebe, J., Hou, Deyi, Tsang, D.C.W., Tack, F.M.G. Soil and Groundwater Remediation Technologies: A Practical Guide, CRC Press, 2020.

Selected Patents

1. Hou, Deyi, Cao, X., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., Soil-Groundwater joint remediation device and method. US Patent No. US11033941B2. Date of Patent: June 15, 2021.

2. Hou, Deyi, Wang, Y., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F. Method for sampling groundwater. US Patent No. 11150166B2. Date of Patent: Oct 19, 2021.

3. Hou, Deyi, Song, Y., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., A device for rapid screening soil washing applicability. China Patent No. ZL202020891594.0. Date of Patent: March 12, 2021.

4. Hou, Deyi, Li, Z., Song, Y., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., An artificial root system for soil and remediation reagent mixing. China Patent No. ZL202020689246.5. Date of Patent: March 16, 2021.

5. Hou, Deyi, Jia, X., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., An experimental device for simulating microplastic migration in soil. China Patent No. ZL201920396785.7. Date of Patent: February 14, 2020.

6. Hou, Deyi, Qi, S., Jia, X., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., An experimental device and method      for studying VOC migration in soil. China Patent No. ZL201910231515.5. Date of Patent: September 11, 2020.

7. Hou, Deyi, Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., Li, M., A remediation system to prevent vapor intrusion. China Patent No. ZL201610438652.2. Date of Patent: September 27, 2019.

8. Hou, Deyi, Cao, X., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., Soil-Groundwater joint remediation device and method. China Patent No. ZL201920388274.0. Date of Patent: December 31, 2019.

9. Hou, Deyi, Zhang, P., Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., A modified nano-material for adsorption and its modification method. China Patent No. ZL201710127524.0. Date of Patent: November 26, 2019.

10. Hou, Deyi, Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., Li, M., A solar-energy based in-situ remediation process and construction method, China Patent No. ZL201610665943.5. Date of Patent: February 22, 2019.

11. Hou, Deyi, Li, G., Zhang, X., Zhang, F., In-situ remediation system for organic contaminated soil, China Patent No. ZL201610051616.0. Date of Patent: October 02, 2018.

Selected Joural Papers(*corresponding author)


1. Hou, Deyi (*), China: protect black soil for biodiversity. Nature. 604:40-40. 链接:https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00942-6

2. He, M., Xu, Z., Hou, Deyi, Gao, B., Cao, X., Ok, Y.S., Rinklebe, J., Bolan, N.S., Tsang, D.C.W., Waste-derived biochar for water pollution control and sustainable development. Nature Reviews Earth & Environment. 2022. 3:444–460. 链接:https://www.nature.com/articles/s43017-022-00306-8

3. Wang, L., Gao, J., Wang, H., Luo, J., Hou, Deyi (*), Stimulated leaching of metalloids along 3D-printed fractured rock vadose zone. Water Research, 2022. 226:119224.

4. Gao, J. (#), Wang, L. (#), Ok, Y.S., Bank, M.S., Luo, J., Wu, W.M., Hou, Deyi (*), Nanoplastic stimulates metalloid leaching from historically contaminated soil via indirect displacement, Water Research, 2022. 218:118468.

5. Wang, C., David O'Connor, Liuwei Wang, Wei-Min Wu, Jian Luo, Hou, Deyi (*). Microplastics in urban runoff: Global occurrence and fate. Water Research, 2022. 225:119129.

6. 侯德义,我国工业场地地下水污染防治十大科技难题,环境科学研究,2022. 35(09). https://doi.org/10.13198/j.issn.1001-6929.2022.04.18

7. Wang, C., L Wang, YS Ok, DCW Tsang, Hou, Deyi (*), Soil plastisphere: Exploration methods, influencing factors, and ecological insights, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2022. 430:128503.

8. Hou, R., L Wang, D O'Connor, J Rinklebe, Hou, Deyi (*), Natural field freeze-thaw process leads to different performances of soil amendments towards Cd immobilization and enrichment, Science of The Total Environment, 2022. 831:154880


1. O’Connor, D. (*), Hou, Deyi (*), Manage the environmental risks of perovskites. One Earth. 2021. 4: 1534-1537. Link:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2590332221006126
2. Hou, Deyi (*), Sustainable remediation in China: Elimination, immobilization, or dilution. Environmental Science & Technology. 2021. 55: 15572–15574.
3. Jin, Y., Wang, L., Song, Y., Zhu, J., Qin, M., Wu, L., Hu, P., Li, F., Fang, L., Chen, C., Hou, Deyi (*), Integrated Life Cycle Assessment for Sustainable Remediation of Contaminated Agricultural Soil in China. Environmental Science & Technology, 2021. 55:12032-12042.
4. Wang, L. (#), Li, P. (#), Zhang, Q., Wu, W., Luo, J., Hou, Deyi (*), Modeling the Conditional Fragmentation-Induced Microplastic Distribution. Environmental Science & Technology. 2021. 55:6012-6021.
5. Qi, S. (#), Wang, Y. (#), Wang, L., Luo, J., Hou, Deyi (*). Impact of Atmospheric Pressure Fluctuations on Nonequilibrium Transport of Volatile Organic Contaminants in the Vadose Zone: Experimental and Numerical Modeling. Water Resources Research, 2021. 57:e2020WR029344.
6. Zhu, J., Song, Y., Wang, L., Zhang, Z., Gao, J., Tsang, D.C.W., Ok, Y.S., Hou, Deyi (*), Green remediation of benzene contaminated groundwater using persulfate activated by biochar composite loaded with iron sulfide minerals. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2021. 429:132292.
7. Shen, Z., Zhang, Z., Zhang, M., Rinklebe, J., Ma, Y., Hou, Deyi (*), Effect of production temperature and particle size of rice husk biochar on mercury immobilization and erosion prevention of a mercury contaminated soil, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2021, 420:126646.
8. Wang, L., Jin, Y., Weiss, D.J., Schleicher, N.J., Wilcke, W., Wu, L., Guo, Q., Chen, J., O'Connor, D., Hou, Deyi (*). Possible application of stable isotope compositions for the identification of metal sources in soil. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2021. 407:124812


1. Hou, Deyi,O'Connor, D., Igalavithana, A., Alessi, D.S., Luo, J., Tsang, D.C.W., Sparks, D.L., Yamauchi, Y., Rinklebe, J., Ok, Y.S. (*), Metal contamination and bioremediation of agricultural soils for food safety and sustainability.Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 2020. 1:366-381.Link:https://www.nature.com/articles/s43017-020-0061-y

2. O'Connor, D., Hou, Deyi (*), Ok, Y.S., Lanphear, B.P., The effects of iniquitous lead exposure on health.Nature Sustainability. 2020, 3:77-79.Link:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0475-z

3. Wang, L., O'Connor, D., Rinklebe, J., Ok, Y.S., Tsang, D.C.W., Shen, Z.,Hou, Deyi (*). Biochar Aging: Mechanisms, Physicochemical Changes, Assessment, And Implications for Field Applications.Environmental Science and Technology. 2020. 54:14797–14814.

4. Qi, S., Luo, J., O'Connor, D., Cao, X., Hou, Deyi (*). Influence of groundwater table fluctuation on the non-equilibrium transport of volatile organic contaminants in the vadose zone. Journal of Hydrology. 2020. 580:124353.

5.Jia, X., Hou, Deyi (*), Wang, L., O'Connor, D., Luo, J., The development of groundwater research in the past 40 years: A burgeoning trend in groundwater depletion and sustainable management. Journal of Hydrology. 2020. 587:125006.

6. Wang, L.,Hou, Deyi (*), Shen, Z., Zhu, J., Jia, X., Ok, Y.S., Tack, F.M.G., Rinklebe, J., Field trials of phytomining and phytoremediation: A critical review of influencing factors and effects of additives.Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. 50:2724-2774.

7. Jia, H.,Hou, Deyi (*), O'Connor, D., Pan, S., Zhu, J., Bolan, N.S., Mulder, J., Exogenous phosphorus treatment facilitates chelation-mediated cadmium detoxification in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2020. 389:121849.

8. Wang, L., Li, X., Tsang, D.C.W., Jin, F.,Hou, Deyi (*). Green remediation of Cd and Hg contaminated soil using humic acid modified montmorillonite: immobilization performance under accelerated ageing conditions.Journalof Hazardous Materials. 2020. 387:122005.


1. Hou, Deyi, Ok, Y.S. (*), Speed up mapping of soil pollution,Nature. 2019, 566:455-455.Link:https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00669-x

2. Hou, Deyi (*), O’Connor, D., Sonne, C., Ok, Y.S. (*), Trade war threatens sustainability. Science. 2019. 364: 1242-1243. Link:https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6447/1242.2

3. Hou, Deyi (*), Luo, J. (*), Proof-of-Concept Modeling of a New Groundwater Sampling Approach.Water Resource Research. 2019. 55:5135-5146.

4. Shen, Z., Jin, F., O'Connor, D.,Hou, Deyi(*), Solidification/Stabilization for Soil Remediation: An Old Technology with New Vitality.Environmental Science and Technology. 2019. 53:11615-11617.

5. O'Connor, D., Hou, Deyi (*), Ok, Y.S., Mulder, J., Duan, L., Wu, Q., Wang, S., Tack, F.M.G., Rinklebe, J., Mercury speciation, transformation, and transportation in soils, atmospheric flux, and implications for risk management: A critical review. Environment International. 2019.126: 747-761.

6. Shen, Z., Zhang, J.,Hou, Deyi (*), Tsang, D., Ok, Y.S., Alessi, D., Synthesis of MgO-coated corncob biochar and its application in lead stabilization in a soil washing residue.Environment International. 2019, 122: 357-362.

7. Jin, Y., O'Connor, D., Ok, Y.S., Tsang, D., Liu, A.,Hou, Deyi (*), Assessment of sources of heavy metals in soil and dust at children’s playgrounds in Beijing using GIS and multivariate statistical analysis.Environment International. 2019. 124: 320-328.

8. Zhang, Y., Hou, Deyi (*), O'Connor, D., Shen, Z., Shi, P., Ok, Y.S., Tsang, D., Wen, Y., Luo, M., Lead Contamination in Chinese Surface Soils: Source Identification, Spatial-Temporal Distribution and Associated Health Risks. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. 2019, 49:1386-1423.


1. Hou, Deyi(*), Ding, Z., Li, G., Wu, L., Hu, P., Guo, G., Wang, X., Ma, Y., O'Connor, D., Wang, X., A Sustainability Assessment Framework for Agricultural Land Remediation in China.Land Degradation & Development. 2018, 29:1005-1018.

2. Hou, Deyi(*), Yinan Song, Junli Zhang, Min Hou, O'Connor, D., Melissa Harclerode, Climate change mitigation potential of contaminated land redevelopment: a city-level assessment method.Journal of Cleaner Production. 2018, 171:1396-1406.

3. O'Connor, D., Hou, Deyi (*), Ye, J., Zhang, Y., Ok, Y.S., Song, Y., Coulon, F., Peng, T., Tian, L., Lead-Based Paint Remains a Major Public Health Concern: A Critical Review of Global Production, Trade, Use, Exposure, Health Risk, and Implications.Environmental International. 2018, 121:85-101.

4. Zhang, P.,Hou, Deyi(*), O'Connor, D., Li, X., Pehkonen, S., Varma, R., Wang, X. Green and Size-Specific Synthesis of Stable Fe-Cu Oxides as Earth-Abundant Adsorbents for Malachite Green Removal.ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. 2018, 6:9229-9236.

5. Shen, Z.,Hou, Deyi (*), Xu, W., Zhang., J., Jin, F., Zhao, B., Pan, S., Peng, T., Alessi, D., Assessing Long-term stability of cadmium and lead in a soil washing residue amended with MgO-based binders using quantitative accelerated ageing.Science of the Total Environment.2018, 643: 1571-1578.

6. Zhang, Y.,Hou, Deyi (*), Xiong, G., Duan Y., Cai, C., Wang, X., Li, J., Tao, S., Liu, W. (*) Structural equation modeling of PAHs in ambient air, dust fall, soil, and cabbage in vegetable bases of Northern China.Environmental Pollution. 2018, 239:13-20.

7. O’Connor, D., Peng, T., Zhang, J., Tsang, D.C.W., Alessi, D.S., Shen, Z., Bolan, N.S.,Hou, Deyi(*), Biochar application for the remediation of heavy metal polluted land: A review of in situ field trials.Science of the Total Environment.2018, 619-620: 815-826.

8. Zhao, B.1, O’Connor, D.1, Zhang, J., Peng, T., Shen, Z., Tsang, D.C.W.,Hou, Deyi(*), Effect of pyrolysis temperature, heating rate, and residence time on rapeseed stem derived biochar.Journal of Cleaner Production. 2018, 174:977-987.

2017 and before

1. Hou, Deyi(*), O'Connor, D., Nathanail, P., Tian, L., Ma, Y., Integrated GIS and multivariate statistical analysis for regional scale assessment of heavy metal soil contamination: a critical review.Environmental Pollution. 2017, 231:1188-1200.

2. Hou, Deyi(*), Qi, S., Zhao, B., Rigby, M., O'Connor, D., Incorporating life cycle assessment with health risk assessment to select the ‘greenest’ cleanup level for Pb contaminated soil.Journal of Cleaner Production. 2017, 162:1157-1168.

3. Qi, S., Hou, Deyi (*), Luo, J. (*), Optimization of groundwater sampling approach under various hydrogeological conditions using a numerical simulation model. Journal of Hydrology. 2017, 552:505-515.

4. Hou, Deyi(*)and Al-Tabbaa, A.,Sustainability: A new imperative in contaminated land remediation, Environmental Science and Policy,2014, 39: 25-34.

5. Hou, Deyi(*), Luo, J., and Al-Tabbaa, A.,Shale Gas Can be a Double Edged Sword for Climate Change,Nature Climate Change, 2012, 2(6): 385-387.Link:https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate1500

6. Hou, Deyi(*), Al-Tabbaa, A., Guthrie, P., and Watanabe, K.Sustainable Waste and Materials Management: National Policy and Global Perspective,Environmental Science and Technology, 2012, 46 (5): 2494−2495.

7. Hou, Deyi(*),Vision 2020: More Needed in Materials Reuse and Recycling to Avoid Land Contamination, Environmental Science and Technology, 2011, 45 (15), 6227-6228.

8. Hou, Deyi, Rabinovici, S. J., Boehm, A. B.(*).Enterococci Predictions from Partial Least Squares Regression Models in Conjunction with a Single-Sample Standard Improve the Efficacy of Beach Management Advisories.Environmental Science and Technology. 2006, 40 (6): 1737 ‑1743.