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Thomas Borch, PhD.


Professor Soil and Crop Sciences
Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor Chemistry

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-6235   Office: 1170 Campus Delivery

Email:   Lab:


Fields of Expertise

1.) Energy
2.) Geosciences
3.) Water and Waste Water Treatment

Areas of Interest

 Environmental biogeochemistryFate and transport of hydraulic fracturing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, organic matter, and radionuclidesIron chemistryMass SpectrometrySynchrotron radiation based spectroscopy


"Background Information: After completing my graduate (M.Sc.) work with Drs. Bo Svensmark and Christian Groen in the Chemistry Department at the University of Copenhagen, I began my doctoral studies (Ph.D.) under the direction of Dr. William P. Inskeep at Montana State University in affiliation with the Center for Biofilm Engineering. Following my graduate studies, I began a Postdoctoral Scientist position in the Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry group at Stanford University with Dr. Scott Fendorf. I spent four great years in Montana and two remarkable years at Stanford University (2000-2005) and could not have asked for more enjoyable work environments. The opportunity to join the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University was compelling. So, in August of 2005 I joined the faculty here to initiate a program in Environmental Chemistry. Research Interests: My research is directed at determining reactions influencing the fate of trace elements and organic contaminants in soils. In addressing the fate of environmental contaminants, one must consider the complete system rather than solely a simplified fraction of the soil. However, due to the extreme heterogeneity of soils, identifying key-reactions influencing the (bio)degradation, (bio)reduction, and (bio) availability research focuses on both simplified systems, often composed of a single mineral and solution reactant, and natural soil systems. I use a multitude of traditional soil chemistry 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, to elucidate (bio)degradation products, chemical states of trace elements and structural states of minerals within soils and pure mineral systems. The ability to identify organic metabolites, the chemical state of trace elements and potential¬Ě mineral-phases is essential for ascertaining contaminant fate and mobility within soils and waters."