Menachem Elimelech

Sterling Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Room / Office: Room 501
Office Address:
17 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 208263
New Haven, CT 06520
Phone: (203) 432-2789
  • Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University
  • B.S., M.S., The Hebrew University, Jerusalem


Professor Elimelech's research is in the general area of the water-energy nexus. Specifically, the research in his group involves: (i) membrane-based processes for energy-efficient desalination and wastewater reuse, (ii) advanced materials for next-generation environmental separation and water decontamination technologies, and (iii) environmental applications of nanomaterials.

Selected Awards & Honors:

  • Honorary doctorate, Ben-Gurion University, Israel (2023)
  • Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, Alternative Water-Resources Prize (2022)
  • Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate (Web of Science) (each year from 2012 to present) (2022)
  • Election to the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (2022)
  • Election to the Canadian Academy of Engineering (2022)
  • American Chemical Society, Outstanding Achievements in Environmental Science and Technology Award (2022)
  • Election to the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (2021)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Perry L. McCarty AEESP Founders' Award (2021)
  • Fulbright Scholar, Ben Gurion University, Israel (2019)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Outstanding Publication Award (with Nathalie Tufenkji) (2019)
  • Election to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (2017)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Distinguished Lecturer for 2016-17.
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award (Doctoral Student Ngai Yin Yip) (2015)
  • Eni Prize for 'Protection of the Environment' (2015)
  • Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in the Category: Chemistry (2015)
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences Distinguished Scholar (formerly known as "Einstein Professorship") (2015)
  • Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher in the Category: Environment/Ecology (2014)
  • The Charles R. O'Melia Distinguished Educator Award, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (2014)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Outstanding Paper Award (2012)
  • Super Reviewer Award, Environmental Science & Technology (2012)
  • Yale University Postdoctoral Mentoring Prize (2012)
  • The Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award and Lecture, American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE (2011) 
  • Liza Cariaga-Lo Faculty Award for Diversity in Scholarship and Service, Yale University (2011)
  • The American Institute of Chemical Engineers Lawrence K. Cecil Award (2008)
  • Election to the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (2007)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Frontier Award in Research (2006)
  • AWWA First Place Best Doctoral Dissertation Award (Doctoral Student Natalie Tufenkji)  (2006)
  • Elected to the National Academy of Engineering  (2006)
  • The Athalie Richardson Irvine Clarke Prize  (2005)
  • Trendsetter, Public Works Magazine  (2005)
  • Excellence in Review Award, Environmental Science & Technology  (2004)
  • Yale University, Graduate Mentor Award  (2004)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Doctoral Dissertation Award (Doctoral Student Eric M.V.Hoek)  (2002)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Outstanding Paper Award  (2002)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize  (1996)
  • W.M. Keck Foundation, Engineering Teaching Excellence Award  (1994)
  • National Science Foundation, Research Initiation Award  (1990)
  • Environmental Engineering and Chemistry Student Award, American Chemical Society  (1989)

Selected Publications:

For complete list click here

  • DuChanois, R.M., Cooper, N.J., Lee, B., Patel, S.K., Mazurowski, L., Graedel, T.E., Elimelech, M., "Prospects of metal recovery from wastewater and brine", Nature Water, Volume 1(1), January 19, 2023, page(s) 37-46.
  • Wang, X., Wu, X., Ma, W., Zhou, X., Zhang, S., Huang, D., Winter, L.R., Kim, J.H., Elimelech, M., "Free-standing membrane incorporating single-atom catalysts for ultrafast electroreduction of low-concentration nitrate", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 120(11), March 6, 2023, page(s) e2217703120.
  • Choi, C., Wang, X., Kwon, S., Hart, J.L., Rooney, C.L., Harmon, N.J., Sam, Q.P., Cha, J.J., Goddard, W.A., Elimelech, M., Wang, H., "Efficient electrocatalytic valorization of chlorinated organic water pollutant to ethylene", Nature Nanotechnology, Volume 18(1), December 19, 2022, page(s) 1-8.
  • Liu, M., Yu, W., Elimelech, M., and Zhang, X., "Assessment of disinfection byproduct concentrations in tap water across China", Nature Sustainability, Volume 5(8). August 1, 2022. page(s) 645-646.
  • Zhang, Y.J., Huang, G.X., Winter, L.R., Chen, J.J., Tian, L., Mei, S.C., Zhang, Z., Chen, F., Guo, Z.Y., Ji, R., You, Y.Z., Li, W.W., Liu, X.W., Yu, H.Q., and Elimelech, M., "Simultaneous nanocatalytic surface activation of pollutants and oxidants for highly efficient water decontamination", Nature Communications, Volume 13(1), May 30, 2022, page(s) 1-13.
  • DuChanois, R.M., Heiranian, M., Yang, J., Porter, C.J., Li, Q., Zhang, X., Verduzco, R. and Elimelech, M., "Designing polymeric membranes with coordination chemistry for high-precision ion separations", Science Advances, Volume 8(9). March 4, 2022. page(s) eabm9436.
  • Zhao, Y., Sun, M., Wang, X., Wang, C., Lu, D., Ma, W., Kube, S.A., Ma, J. & Elimelech, M. "Janus electrocatalytic flow-through membrane enables highly selective singlet oxygen production" Nature Communications, Volume 11(1), December 4, 2020, page(s) 1-10.
  • Zhou, X., Wang, Z., Epsztein, R., Zhan, C., Li, W., Fortner, J.D., Pham, T.A., Kim, J.H., & Elimelech, M. "Intrapore energy barriers govern ion transport and selectivity of desalination membranes." Science Advances, Volume 6(48). November 25, 2020. page(s) eabd9045.
  • Yao, Y., Zhang, P., Jiang, C., DuChanois, R., Zhang, M., & Elimelech, M. "High performance polyester reverse osmosis desalination membrane with chlorine resistance" Nature Sustainability, October 5, 2020, page(s) 1-9.
  • Epsztein, R., DuChanois, R.M., Ritt, C.L., Noy, A., Elimelech, M. "Towards single-species selectivity of membranes with subnanometre pores" Nature Nanotechnology, Volume 15, June 12, 2020, page(s) 426-436.
  • Wang, Y., Lee, J., Werber, J. R., & Elimelech, M. "Capillary-driven desalination in a synthetic mangrove." Science Advances, Volume 6(8). February 21, 2020. page(s) eaax5253.
  • Park, H.B., Kamcev, J., Robeson, L.M., Elimelech, M., & Freeman, B.D. "Maximizing the right stuff: The trade-off between membrane permeability and selectivity", Science, 356, June 2017, page(s) eaab0530.
  • Straub, A.P., Yip, N.Y., Lin, S., Lee, J., & Elimelech, M. "Harvesting low-grade heat energy using thermo-osmotic vapour transport through nanoporous membranes", Nature Energy, Volume 1, June 2016, page(s) 16090.
  • Elimelech, M. and Phillip, W.A. "The Future of Seawater Desalination: Energy, Technology, and the Environment", Science, Volume 333, August 2011, pages 712-717.
  • Shannon, M.A., Bohn, P.W., Elimelech, M., Georgiadis, J.G., Mariñas, B.J. and Mayes, A.M. "Science and Technology for Water Purification in the Coming Decades", Nature, Volume 452, March 2008, pages 301-310.

Additional Websites

Biographical Data