Thomas Borch, PhD

Professor, Soil & Crop Sciences, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Chemistry

Why I Innovate

“I have passion for improving human health by providing innovative solutions for agriculture and polluted environments. My creativity is, in particular, stimulated by conversations with my agricultural and industrial partners since they know “the real-world problems” and provide an important perspective that helps me identify solutions. I question everything and expect my students to challenge me every day – I aspire to create an environment for my staff and students in which nobody is afraid to ask questions. My research is interdisciplinary, and we often tackle big agricultural or environmental problems by taking a systems approach. In short, I innovate to help solve real-world problems such as water and food scarcity.”

Areas of Collaborative Interest

The Borch lab is focused on topics such as water treatment and reuse for agricultural irrigation, forest fire impacts on surface water quality, permafrost thawing effects on carbon and nutrient cycling, and soil/water quality impacts on crop health. Joint appointments in the Departments of Soil and Crop Sciences (home dept.), Civil and Environmental Engineering (joint), and Chemistry (joint) makes our group highly interdisciplinary, allowing us to pursue complex agricultural, environmental, and industrial projects. My lab uses a multitude of traditional analytical methods in combination with various chromatographic (e.g. GC, HPLC and IC), spectroscopic (e.g. FTIR, XPS), and microscopic (e.g. SEM, TEM and AFM) methods, including state-of-the-art techniques such as synchrotron radiation-based X-ray techniques and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS), to elucidate (bio)degradation products, chemical states of trace elements, structural states of minerals, plant uptake of contaminants, and the fate of water contaminants in environmental and agricultural settings.

I am interested in collaborating in the following areas:

  • Sustainable Agricultural Water
  • Water Reuse in Agriculture
  • Impact of Irrigation Water Quality on Soil and Plant Health
  • Sensors for agriculture and water analysis
  • Treatment and Reuse of Produced Water for Crop Irrigation
  • Chemical and Toxicological Characterization of Agricultural and Industrial Water
  • Alternative Water Sources for Agriculture
  • Licensing our technologies

 Last updated on August 11, 2020

Hidden text – because the “design” is “light” text:

Thomas Borch

#CSUInvents – #TechTuesday! The current methods used to quantify Fe (II) ions in #environmental, #industrial, and #medical #water samples are not capable of direct determination of the Fe (II) concentration, and are time consuming, require expensive stationary instrumentation, sample pretreatment, specialists to operate, and do not allow in-situ analysis. Researchers at Colorado State University have developed an all solid-state contact Fe (II) selective electrode to directly quantify Fe (II) ions in aqueous medium. This #technology has better selectivity, sensitivity, pH range, response time, and requires less maintenance when compared to traditional ion selective electrodes. In addition. it is #costeffective, stable, can be miniaturized and adapted to small portable devices.

Inventors: Professor Thomas Borch and Dr. Tugba Ozer, CSU College of Agricultural Sciences

#wastewater #mining #tailings #gasindustry #oilindustry #technologytransfer #innovation #instrumentation #environmentalhealth #CSU #waterquality #sensors #NationalWaterQualityMonth
National Water Quality Labs Water Quality Association Water & Wastewater Treatment (WWT) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Hanna Instruments Sensorex, Inc. Cole-Parmer Thermo Fisher Scientific