Osman Karatum
Osman Karatum, Ph.D.
Senior Associate
Environmental & Earth Sciences
Orange County

Dr. Karatum is an environmental engineer by training and specializes in water quality and analytical characterization of wastewaters, including flowback and produced waters from hydraulic fracturing and oilfield operations. Specifically, he has expertise in analyzing and monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and petroleum range hydrocarbons (gasoline range organics (GRO) and diesel range organics (DRO)). His doctoral thesis focused on the development of novel materials such as aerogels for oil spill remediation and recovery. He has expertise in the use of different material characterization tools (scanning electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, tensile strength, pore size and surface area analysis) and a variety of analytical techniques including gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (GC/MS), Purge and Trap with GC/MS, GC with electron capture and flame ionization detectors (GC/ECD, GC/FID), two-dimensional gas chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS).

Dr. Karatum has worked extensively with mechanically durable aerogel fabrics to broaden the use of oil sorbents into offshore oil spill cleanup efforts and passive collection devices. He has been involved in the development of interchangeable (nonpolar to polar) surfaces for enhanced oil recovery, and he has conducted life cycle assessments (LCA) to assess economic and environmental feasibility of these remediation materials. Dr. Karatum’s work resulted in a novel technology that uses lightweight, hydrophobic aerogel composites to enable automated, robotic oil recovery. 

Before joining Exponent, Dr. Karatum worked as a postdoctoral scholar at Virginia Tech, where he conducted research to characterize respiratory droplets and aerosols. As a part of this research, he developed microscopic techniques with confocal and fluorescent microscopes to track fluorescent labelled flu virus particles in small droplets and aerosols to understand the relationship between environmental conditions and virus viability. This research improved the prediction of transmission of pandemic flu virus strains. Further, Dr. Karatum also has experience with food engineering, specifically in the analytical characterization of aroma and flavor compounds. 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, 2016
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, 2012
  • B.S., Food Engineering, Ege University, Turkey, 2008
  • Duke University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Scholarship

    The Best Pre-Doctoral Journal Paper Award, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University

    Graduate Research Fellowship (Ministry of National Education, Turkey)

LANGUAGES

  • Turkish

Publications

Karatum O, Bhuiya MMH, Carroll MK, Anderson AM, Plata DL. Life cycle assessment of aerogel manufacture on small and large scales: Weighing the use of advanced materials in oil spill remediation. Journal of Industrial Ecology 2017.

Hoelzer K, Sumner JA, Karatum O, Nelson RK, Drollette BD, O’Connor MP, D’Ambro E, Getzinger GJ, Ferguson PL, Reddy CM, Elsner M, Plata DL. Indications of transformation products from hydraulic fracturing additives in shale gas wastewater. Environmental Science & Technology 2016; 50(15):8036-8048.

Karatum O, Deshusses MA. A comparative study of dilute VOCs treatment in a non-thermal plasma reactor. Chemical Engineering Journal 2016; (294):308-315.

Karatum O, Steiner III SA, Griffin JS, Shi W, Plata DL. Flexible, mechanically durable aerogel composites for oil capture and recovery. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016; 8(1):215-224.

Drollette BD, Hoelzer K, Warner NR, Darrah TH, Karatum O, O’Connor MP, Nelson RK, Fernandez LA, Reddy CM, Vengosh A, Jackson RB, Elsner M, Plata DL. Elevated levels of diesel range organic compounds in groundwater near marcellus gas operations are derived from surface activities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015; 13184-13189.

Getzinger GJ, O’Connor MP, Hoelzer K, Drollette BD, Karatum O, Deshusses MA, Ferguson PL, Elsner M, Plata DL. Natural gas residual fluids: sources, endpoints, and organic chemical composition after centralized waste treatment in Pennsylvania. Environmental Science & Technology 2015; 49(14): 8347-8355. 

Presentations

Karatum O, Plata DL. Flexible, switchable aerogel composites as reusable sorbents for oil capture and recovery. American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Philadelphia, PA, 2016. 

Karatum O, Plata DL. A novel solution to an old problem: mechanically durable aerogel fabrics for oil capture and recovery. Poster Presentation, Environmental Sciences: Water - Gordon Research Conference, 2016 (Honorable mention).

Karatum O, Steiner III SA, Plata DL. Mechanically strong aerogel fabrics for oil capture and recovery: performance and life cycle implications. Poster Presentation, AEESP Conference, New Haven, CT, 2015. 

Karatum O, Steiner III SA, Plata DL. Mechanically strong aerogel fabrics for oil capture and recovery. American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO, 2015. 

Karatum O, Steiner III SA, Plata DL. Mechanically strong aerogel fabrics for oil capture and recovery. Poster Presentation, Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, Houston, TX, 2015.

Patents

U.S. Patent: Technology and method for oil spill remediation and recovery using hydrophobic aerogel blankets, Submitted Disclosure to Yale Office of Cooperative Research Dec 2015 (Karatum O, Steiner S, Plata DL).

Prior Experience

Postdoctoral Associate, Virginia Tech, 2016-2017

Visiting Researcher, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University, 2014-2016

Professional Affiliations

American Chemical Society

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, 2016
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, 2012
  • B.S., Food Engineering, Ege University, Turkey, 2008
  • Duke University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Scholarship

    The Best Pre-Doctoral Journal Paper Award, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University

    Graduate Research Fellowship (Ministry of National Education, Turkey)

LANGUAGES

  • Turkish