The main research interests cover all aspects of colloidal and surface physical chemistry, for example: Adsorption & desorption processes; photodegradation and photostabilization; colloidal and surface chemistry; water treatment and purification; slow and controlled release of essential oils, pharmaceuticals and pesticides, diffusion processes and energy transfer, adsorption and kinetics modelling, thermodynamics and physical chemistry, specifically adapted hybrid materials (organoclays, clay-polymer nanocomposites, use functionalized activated charcoal, modified zeolites, etc for environmental applications as adsorption of pollutants or removal of pathogens, broad educational applications of physical chemistry general and environmental aspects.
Cooperation with other research groups include (a) FTIR and XRF analysis for other uses (food sciences, archaeology, etc), (b) use of olive mills biochar for adsorption of pollutants or removal of pathogens (c) cooperation on food sciences in the preparation of specific foods from innovative sources (remains of other food products) (d) circular economy- P fertilizer developed from wastewater treatment (e) use of clay-biopolymer biocomposites as food additive for metabolic syndrome alleviation, (f) innovative and precise agriculture: correlating eddy covariance direct evapotranspiration measurements with drone hyperspectral measurements, CO2 and water balance in fields, etc.
Almost all processes in the environment are governed by physico-chemistry influences. Thus- deep understanding of such influences is essential in order to overcome severe environmental hazards. Prof. Rytwo and his research team had published more than 70 papers in international, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 20 additional publications as book chapters and peer reviewed compilations. The group has also submitted 9 different patents in more than 20 patent applications, part of them already granted and others at PCT or local phase. During the last 15 years had attracted over 2 million € for research from industrial, and academic funding sources.
Academic Education and Appointments
1985 B.Sc.Agr. Cum Laude, HUJI, Dept. of Soil and Water Sciences.
1989 M.Sc.Agr. Cum Laude, HUJI, Dept. of Soil and Water Sciences
1994 Ph.D. HUJI (Instructors: Prof. Shlomo Nir and Prof. Leon Margulies).
1995 - Lecturer (till 2001), Senior Lecturer (till 2005), Associate Professor (till 2012) and Full Professor, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Tel Hai College, Israel.
1996 Post-doctoral fellowship at ASWCRL –USDA, Beckley, WV (4 months)
1997/8 Post-doctoral fellowship CRMD- CNRS Orléans, France (4 months during two years).
2000-2005 Secretary of the Israeli Clay Society.
2001- MIGAL staff member, in Environmental Physical Chemistry
2001-2005 Senior Lecturer, Tel Hai Academic College.
2003-2006 Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Tel Hai College
2006-2009 Head, Environmental Sciences Department, Tel Hai College.
2007-2009 Inventor, Co-Founder and R&D manager of "ToxSorb", an industrial enterprise aiming water treatment and purification http://www.toxsorb.net
2009-2013 Chair, Teaching Clay Minerals Committee, International Association for the Study of Clays
2012-2016 Member, Environmental Sciences Committee at the Israeli Council for Higher Education.
2012- Co-Founder, advisor and lecturer in "Town Square Academia" - courses to general public in Kiryat Shemona. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAhK1PdV_Aw )
2013- 2016 Active participation in HINT- COST European Action
2016-2020 Head, Environmental Sciences Department, Tel Hai College
2016-2019 Head, Israel Society for Clay Research
2017-2019 Member of the Water Standardization Committee at The Standards Institution of Israel.
2017-2020 Israel delegate in COST Action CA16229, European Network for Environmental Citizenship European Network for Environmental Citizenship
2020- Head, Research Authority, Tel Hai College
Invited Presentations in Conferences and Advanced Schools:
Since 2006, delivered more than 50 presentations in conferences. About 40 of them in International Conferences held outside my country, in six cases as "Invited" or "Keynote" lecturer. Some of those meetings are among the most important conferences in my field of research (2010-Trilateral USA-Japan-Spain Meeting on Clays, 2014 Clay Mineral Society Workshop, 2015 EUROCLAY15, European Conference in Clay Sciences; 2017 Clay Mineral Society Annual Meeting, 2020 4th Asian Clay Conference). I was also invited to deliver an M.Sc. Course in Environmental Remediation at the International Master in Clay Sciences Program (IMACS), supported by the International Association of Clay Minerals Research (AIPEA) during 2016. As a result of the success of the course I had been asked by IMACS to do it (as "Remote Learning") in 2017 and 2018.
Organization of Conferences and Congresses:
Since 2006 I participated in the organization of several international conferences: (a) Initiator and Organizer of the “Chemistry in Water Treatment and Purification Symposium”, held at the 243rd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, in San Diego, California, March, 2012; (b) Symposium Organizer of the "Water-Related Medical Geology Issues" held at MEDGEO 2013, 5th International Conference in Medical Geology, Arlington, VA Aug. 25-29, 2013, and (c), Initiator and convener of the symposium on "Environmental Applications of Modified and Natural Clays", held in the 16th International Clay Conference, Granada, Spain 2017, and “Clays and Environment” session at the 2020 4th Asian Clay Conference (on-line meeting) . In addition to that, member of the steering committee of several conferences in Israel, among them the Ann. Meeting Israel Society of Clay Research, Upper Galilee, October 2011, and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Annual National Water Conference in Tel Hai College (2012-2017).
2016-2018 M.Sc. course in "Environmental Remediation" at IMACS- International Master Degree in Clay Sciences, University of Poitiers, France.
1994-present Developed and teaches more than 15 courses on Physics, Chemistry, Thermodynamics and Meteorology at several departments at Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Tel Hai College, Israel. Actual courses: Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Thermodynamics and Introduction to Meteorology and Climatology at the B.Sc. program, and Advanced Chapters in Physical Chemistry, Aquatic Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Methods and Physico-Chemical Methods in Water Treatment at the M.Sc. program in Tel Hai College.
2012-present Courses at "Town-Square Academia" Community Project: "The Modern Physics' Revolution", "Understanding Weather Parameters", "Understanding Water Pollution" and during the last year- "Machines, Heat Pumps and Daily Thermodynamics". The project is an education initiative in The Upper Galilee offering academic-level courses accessible to general public at a symbolic fee of NIS 20 (less than $5) per course, used to support the organization costs. Additional details on the project at "The Guardian" website , and at this TEDx lecture.
Fellowships and Awards
2009 – 2012, 2016-2019 Head of "“The Cherie and Aaron Raznick Chair for the Study of Sustainable Relations Between People and the Environment in the Upper Galilee.”
2012, 2015 Award for Excellence in Applicative Research, MIGAL Galilee Research Institute.
2000, 2005, 2010, 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award, Faculty of Sciences & Technology, Tel Hai College.
2011 Invited to present the use of nanocomposites for effluents purification at an event held by Israeli’s President (2011) Mr. Shimon Peres.
2011 At Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm (2011), Mrs. Maya Samuels presented a project performed at my laboratory under my supervision and mentoring (Additional information: English version of an Israeli newspaper , Interlochen website).
1999-2002 Sacta-Rashi Foundation Guastella Scholarship ($60000) for excellence in research in colleges
1991-1994 Several prizes during Ph.D. studies: Bona Terra Foundation Prize, Fishman-Nadel Foundation Prize, Upper Galilee Prize and Scholarship.
1982-1984 During B.Sc. studies: Dean List and Scholarship, Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Recognized leadership in industrial innovation:
There are three major industrial contributions that can be ascribed directly to my research (a) A technology I am its senior inventor, that uses modified activated carbon for the removal of heavy metals and oxyanions in industrial and potable is applied by ToxSorb Co., a water technology "Cleantech" company that works since 2008 (company website, additional details), with clients in Israel, Italy and USA (WO/2009/053972 PCT/IL2008/001370). (b) A technology I am its sole inventor, based on the development of specifically designed clay-polymer nanocomposites for the clarification of water is the basis of several patents (PCT/IL2012/000245 WO2012176190, PCT/IL2014/050738 WO2015022695, PCT/IL2016/050700 WO/2017/158581), part of them already at National Phase in US, Europe and other places. The license for the use of the technology in wastewater and effluents was assigned in 2017 to ICL Haifa that introduced a product known as "NC" to the industrial and domestic wastewater treatment in Israel and around the world (additional information in this press release, and at the following advertising movies: 1, 2). Later the license was given to Safepack-Decco, and since 2020 to GES (c) Advanced negotiations about an Industrially supported proposal are being held with a large water treatment company based on the photocatalytic degradation technology developed in European granted patent based on PCT/IL2015/050944, WO2016042558 is taking place (July, 2020). A Channel 10 television report on the technology (in Hebrew) was broadcasted on October, 3rd, 2017.