The Catholic University of America

Dr. Aaron Barkatt

Ordinary Professor, Physical Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, and Environmental Chemistry

B.S. Chemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem  (Jerusalem, Israel)
Ph.D.,  The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel)
office: Nursing-Biology, B53B
phone: 202-319-5397

Primary Research Interests

  • Extraction of uranium from seawater
  • Long-term durability of nuclear waste glass in geologic environments
  • Use of mathematical models in environmental education

Extraction of uranium from seawater: In view of the limited resources of uranium available through mining operations on land and the environmental issues associated with uranium mining and ore processing, the feasibility of recovering of uranium from seawater by means of suitable adsorbents is highly desirable, but it faces formidable technical challenges. We are studying the feasibility of using novel, previously untested, chemical compounds to extract uranium from seawater.

The durability of glasses containing nuclear wastes in the presence of groundwater: Since glass is a common medium used to immobilize dangerous radioactive wastes under conditions of long-term underground burial, we are studying the ability of such glasses to withstand prolonged content with groundwater without allowing the radioactive components to leak out.

The use of mathematical concepts and methods in environmental education.

Selected Publications

A.L. Pulvirenti, E.J. Bishop, M.A. Adel-Hadadi, A. Barkatt, "Solubilisation of Nickel from Powders at Near-Neutral pH and the Role of Oxide Layers", Corrosion Science, 51, 2043-2054 (2009).

A.L. Pulvirenti, K.M. Needham, M.A. Adel-Hadadi, C.R. Marks, J.A. Gorman, D.L. Shettel and A. Barkatt, "Acid Generation upon Thermal Concentration of Natural Water: The Critical Water Content and the Effects of Ionic Composition", Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 109, 62-81 (2009).

R.M. Catchings, A.N. Thorpe, J.R. Grant, R. Douglas, C. Viragh, K. Gaskell and A. Barkatt, "Formation of Maghemite Nanoparticles in Bismuth Telluride Materials Containing Iron", Journal of Materials Research, 25, 2042-2046 (2010).

J.-C. An, A. Weaver, B. Kim, A. Barkatt, D. Poster, W.N. Vreeland, J. Silverman and M. Al-Sheikhly, "Radiation-Induced Synthesis of Poly(vinylpyrrolidone) Nanogel", Polymer, 52, 5746-5755 (2011)

C. Tissot, S. Grdanovska, A. Barkatt, J. Silverman and M. Al-Sheikhly, "On the Mechanisms of the Radiation-Induced Degradation of Cellulosic Substances", Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 84, 185-190 (2013)

A.L. Pulvirenti, A. Barkatt, M.A. Adel-Hadadi, A.N. Thorpe, F.E. Senftle and J.R. Grant, "Removal of Superparamagnetic Corrosion Products and Contaminants from Drinking Water using Activated Carbon", Desalination and Water Treatment, 52, 3096-3103 (2014)

C. Goodwin, A. Barkatt and M. Al-Sheikhly, "On the Mechanism of the Interactions of Neutrons and Gamma Radiation with Nuclear Graphite - Implications to HTGRs", Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 97, 38-47 (2014)

M. Farahani, M.-C. Clochard, I. Gifford, A. Barkatt and M. Al-Sheikhly, "Differences in Fundamental Reaction Mechanisms between High and Low-LET in Recent Advancements and Applications of Ionizing Radiation", Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 105, 39-47 (2014)

T.C. Dietz, C.E. Tomaszewski, Z. Tsinas, D. Poster, A. Barkatt, M. Adel-Hadadi, F.B. Bateman, L.T. Cumberland, E, Schneider, K. Gaskell, J. LaVerne and M. Al-Sheikhly, "Uranium Removal from Seawater by means of Polyamide 6 Fibers Directly Grafted with Diallyl Oxalate through a Single-Step, Solvent-Free Irradiation Process", Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 55, 4179-4186 (2016)

Barkatt, Aaron, et al. "Solubilization of Cs and K from Tetraphenylborate Precipitates in Highly Alkaline Environments." Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste 22.1 (2017): 04017021.

Pooley, Grace M., Mohammad A. Adel-Hadadi, Weixing Li, Travis C. Dietz, and Aaron Barkatt. "Silane coupling and mordanting as attachment techniques for pyridylazo and thiazolylazo ligands in the synthesis of adsorbents for uranium in seawater." Adsorption Science & Technology (2018): 0263617418755170.


  • CHEM 110: Introduction to Earth Science
  • CHEM 317: Principles of Environmental Science
  • CHEM 318: Senimar in Environmental Science