Dr. Orlando Coronell

Orlando Coronell, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Associate Chair for Academics
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Applied Physical Sciences
163B Rosenau Hall
CB #7431
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Associate Professor Coronell studies basic and applied aspects of technologies for clean water and energy applications. Dr. Coronell's main focus areas are membrane processes and, more recently, sorption processes. Currently, membrane research focuses on advancing the understanding of the mechanisms of transport of water, salts and other solutes through membranes; the development of new and improved membranes; and the optimization of membrane processes and systems. Sorption research focuses on the study of sorbents for heavy metal and per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water. Work in Dr. Coronell's laboratory involves wet chemistry, materials synthesis/modification, materials characterization, performance characterization of engineering systems and mathematical modeling.

Orlando Coronell in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

2019 Class of Influential Researchers
2019, ACS Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Duke Energy Faculty Fellow
2017, Duke Energy Foundation

2016-Present, Editorial Board of npj Clean Water, a Nature partner journal

Representative Courses

Physical/Chemical Processes for Water Treatment (ENVR 756)

Science and Technology of Membranes for Water Purification (ENVR 890-002)

Chemical Equilibria of Natural Waters (ENVR 419)

Environmental Processes, Exposure, and Risk Assessment (ENVR 500, co-taught)

Service Activities

Member of the International Editorial Board of npj Clean Water, a Nature partner journal (2016-Present)
Member of the North Carolina Water Treatment Facility Operator Certification Board (NC WTFOCB) (2019-Present)

Key Publications

Ionic fluorogels for remediation of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances from water. Kumarasamy, E.; Manning, I.M.; Collins, L.B.; Coronell, O.; Leibfarth, F.L. (2020). ACS Central Science, 6(4), 487-492.
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Comparison of water and salt transport properties of ion exchange, reverse osmosis, and nanofiltration membranes for desalination and energy applications. Kingsbury, R.S., Wang, J., Coronell, O. (2020). Journal of Membrane Science, 604(117998).
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Scalable Fabrication of Anti-biofouling Membranes through 2-Aminoimidazole Incorporation during Polyamide Casting. Atkinson, A.J.; Wang, J.; Grzebyk, K.; Zhang, Z.; Jung, D.; Zeng, D.; Pollard, A.; Gold, A.; Coronell, O.  (2019). Journal of Membrane Science, 579(-), 151-161.
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Investigating the void structure of the polyamide active layers of thin-film composite membranes. Lin, L.; Lopez, R.; Ramon, G.Z.; Coronell, O.  (2016). Journal of Membrane Science, 497(-), 365-376.
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Energy storage by reversible desalination: The concentration batter. Kingsbury, R.S.; Chu, K.; Coronell, O. (2015). Journal of Membrane Science, 495(-), 502-516.
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  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
  • BS, Civil Engineering, Universidad del Norte, Colombia, 2001