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Orlando Coronell, PhD

Associate Professor Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering

T:(919) 966-9010

F:(919) 966-7911


163B Rosenau Hall

CB #7431

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Assistant Professor Coronell studies basic and applied aspects of water and energy where membrane technology plays a central role. Dr. Coronell's main focus areas are membrane processes for (i) water desalination and reuse, and (ii) energy generation and storage using salinity gradients . Currently, 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.  Such work involves wet chemistry, polymer synthesis, materials characterization at the nanoscale, use of state-of-the-art membrane systems, and mathematical modeling of membrane performance.
Key Publications

Partitioning of alkali metal salts and boric acid from aqueous phase into the polyamide active layers of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration membranes. Wang, J.; Kingsbury, R.S.; Perry, L.A.; Coronell, O.  (2017). Environmental Science & Technology, 51(-), 2295-2203.

Osmotic ballasts enhance faradaic efficiency in closed-loop, membrane-based energy systems. Kingsbury, R.S.; Coronell, O.  (2017). Environmental Science & Technology, 51(-), 1910-1917.

Relationship between performance deterioration of a polyamide reverse osmosis membrane used in a seawater desalination plant and changes in its physicochemical properties. Suzuki, T.; Tanaka, R.; Tahara, M.; Niinae, M.; Lin, L.; Wang, J.; Luh, J.; Coronell, O.  (2016). Water Research, 100(-), 326-336.

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.

Amide link scission in the polyamide active layers of thin-film composite membranes upon exposure to free chlorine – Kinetics and mechanisms. Powell, J.; Luh, J.; Coronell, O.  (2015). Environmental Science & Technology, 49(-), 12136-12144.


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