Prof. Giora Rytwo

Prof. Giora Rytwo
Principal Investigator
Environmental Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Research interests:

Adsorption & desorption processes; photodegradation and photostabilization; colloidal and surface chemistry; water treatment and purification; slow and controlled release of essential oils, pharmaceuticals and pesticides, adsorption and kinetics modelling, thermodynamics and physical chemistry, broad educational applications of physical chemistry general and environmental aspects. Cooperation with other research groups include (a) FTIR and XRF analysis for archaeology, (b) use of olive mills biochar for adsorption of pollutants (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.

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 sixty papers in international, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 20 additional publications as book chapters and peer reviewed compilations. The group has also submitted 7 different 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.

The main research interests cover all aspects of colloidal and surface physical chemistry, among them:

  1. Thermodynamic and kinetics in sorption and desorption processes
  2. Adsorption models to charged and neutral surfaces
  3. Removal of organic and inorganic pollutants from water by means of organo-clays, nanocomposites or other sorbents
  4. Development of innovative coagulation, flocculation nanocomposite based pre-treatment techniques in industrial effluents and potable water
  5. Educational applications of aquatic environmental chemistry techniques
  6. Additional applications of high surface area particles as clays, organoclays and nanocomposites as slow-release platforms (herbicides, fragrance, fertilizers, proteins, medications, etc.)
  7. Photostabilization and photocatalyzed degradation of chemicals on colloidal surfaces.

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 – present             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

2009-2013     Chair, Teaching Clay Minerals Committee, International Association for the Study of Clays

2012-              Member, Environmental Sciences Committee at the Israeli Council for Higher Education.

2012-              Co-Founder, advisor and lecturer in "Town Square Academia- project for short academic courses to general public in Kiryat Shemona. ( )

2013- 2016    Active participation in HINT- COST European Action

2016-              Head, Environmental Sciences Department, Tel Hai College

2016-              Head, Israel Society for Clay Research

2017-              Member of the Water Standartization Committee at The Standards Institution of Israel.

2017-              Israel delegate in the Management Committee to COST Action CA16229, European Network for Environmental Citizenship European Network for Environmental Citizenship


Invited presentations in conferences and advanced schools;

Since 2006 I 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 (2008, 2010, 2013, 2014 two occasions during 2015, and in 2017). 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). 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", to be held in the 16th International Clay Conference, Granada, Spain 2017. 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).

Teaching Activities

2016-     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-present 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 and Technion Institute "Focus" magazine).

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 websiteadditional details), with clients in Israel, Italy and USA (see above, patent #1). (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 (see above, patents #2,3,6), 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 (patents #2,3,8) was assigned to ICL Haifa, a global manufacturer of products primarily in three markets: agriculture, food and engineered materials, and one of the largest chemicals companies in Israel. Since 2015 they are responsible for the introduction of the 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: 12). (c) Advanced negotiations about the funding of a clean-tech startup company based on the photocatalytic degradation technology developed in patents #4 is taking place (September, 2017). A Channel 10 television report on the technology (in Hebrew) was broadcasted on October, 3rd, 2017.

Scientific Publications

Photodegradation Kinetics of Caffeine, Desalination and Water Treatment

Rendel, P. and Rytwo, G.
Desalination and Water Treatment, Vol. 173, 231-242

Sepiolite Clay Attenuates the Development of Hypercholesterolemia and Obesity in Mice Fed a High-Fat, High-Cholesterol Diet. Journal of Medicinal Food.

Gutman R., M. Rauch, A. Neuman, H. Khamaisi, A. Jonas-Levi, Y. Konovalovae and G. Rytwo.
Journal of Medicinal Food 2019

Securing the future: Clay based solutions for a comprehensive and sustainable potable water supply system

Rytwo, G.
Clays and Clay Minerals 2018 Volume 66 Issue 4 Pages 315-328

Thiamine-based organoclay for phenol removal from water

Ben Moshe, S., Rytwo, G.
Applied Clay Science 2018 Volume 155 Pages 50-56

Utilization of polysaccharides to modify salt release and texture of a fresh semi hard model cheese.

Benjamin, O.; Davidovich, M.; Spiegelman, A., Rytwo, G.
Food Hydrocolloids 2018 Volume 75 Pages 95-106

Immobilization of Rhus vernicifera Laccase on sepiolite; effect of chitosan and copper modification on laccase adsorption and activity

Olshansky, Y., Masaphy, S., Root, R.A., Rytwo, G.
Applied Clay Sciences 2017

Method for Pretreatment of Wastewater and Recreational Water with Nanocomposites

Rytwo, G.
Granted US Patent No. 9,546,102 2017

Production of biochar from olive mill solid waste for heavy metal removal

Azaizeh, H., Abdelhadi, S.; Dosoretz, C.; Rytwo, G.; Gerchman, Y.
Bioresource Technology 2017 Volume in press, August 2017.

Clay-Organic Interfaces for Design of Functional Hybrid Materials

Aranda, P., Darder, M., Wicklein, B., Rytwo, G., Ruiz-Hitzky, E.
In Rational design of hybrid organic-inorganic interfaces, ,2017, Delville, M.H. Ed. ,Wiley CH , Pages in press.

Evaporation of allyl isothiocyanate from clay minerals and organoclays

Rytwo, G., Ben Moshe, S.
Applied Clay Science 2017 Volume 137 Pages 30-32

Hybrid clay-polymer nanocomposites for the clarification of water and effluents

Rytwo, G.
Recent Patents on Nanotechnology 2017 Volume 11 Pages 1

On the teaching of the different formulations of the Virial Equation.

Rytwo, G., Olshansky, Y.
International Education and Research Journal 2016 Volume 5:81-82

Three unusual techniques for the analysis of surface modification of clays and nanocomposites

Rytwo, G., Chorsheed, L., Avidan, L., Lavi, R
In Surface modification of clays and nanocomposites ,2016, Beall, G. Ed. ,Boulder CO , Pages 73-86

A continuous-flow device for photocatalytic degradation and full mineralization of priority pollutants in water.

Rytwo, G., Klein, T., Margalit, S., Mor, O., Naftaly, A., Daskal, G.
Desalin. Water Treat. 2015

The Use of ATR-FTIR Spectroscopy for Quantification of Adsorbed Compounds

G. Rytwo; R. Zakai; B Wicklein
Journal of Spectroscopy 2015 Volume 2015

Treatment of Winery Wastewater with Aerated Cells Mobile System.

Litaor, I., Meir-Dinar, N.; Castro, B.; Azaizeh, H.; Rytwo, G.; Levi, N.; Levi, M.
Environmental Nanotechnology, Monitoring and Management 2015 Volume 4: 19-26

Direct relationship between electrokinetic surface charge measurements of effluents and coagulant type and dose

G. Rytwo; R. Lavi; T.N. K?nig; L. Avidan
Colloid and Interface Science Communications 2014 Pages 27-30

Three unusual techniques for the analysis of surface modification of clays and nanocomposites

In CMS Workshop Lectures Series ,2014, G. Beall; C.E. Powell Ed. ,The Clay Mineral Society Boulder, Pages in press

A worksheet based model for adsorption of pollutants on sorbents with multiple sites and sorption mechanisms

G. Rytwo; S. Margalit
International Journal of Science and Research 2014 Volume 3 Pages 1-5

Clarification of olive mill and winery wastewater by means of clay?polymer nanocomposites

G. Rytwo; R. Lavi; Y. Rytwo; H. Monchase; S. Dultz; T. N. K?nig
Science of The Total Environment 2013 Volume 442 Pages 134-142