Journal Issue Features 4 Papers from Environmental Engineering

The most recent issue of Nature Nanotechnology features four papers authored by three faculty members of Yale’s Chemical & Environmental Engineering department.

The three prolific faculty - Jaehong Kim, Menachem Elimelech and Julie Zimmerman - scored the impressive feat in the journal’s August issue. The special issue about environmental nanotechnology contains three perspective articles and one review article on the subject by the Yale faculty. 

Kim, Professor and Chair of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, noted that having the work of three faculty members in one issue of a prestigious journal is “very unusual, and it highlights the leading role of our program’s faculty over this field.”

Kim’s study, performed with his PhD student, Brenna Hodges, “Challenges and prospects of advanced oxidation water treatment processes using catalytic nanomaterials,” looks at the benefits and challenges of employing engineered nanomaterials for advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) to ultimately achieve decentralized water treatment in urban areas - an increasingly necessary step due to aging infrastructures and other challenges. 

The study by Elimelech, “Emerging opportunities for nanotechnology to enhance water security,” looks at new opportunities and approaches to apply nanotechnology to enhance the efficiency and affordability of water treatment and wastewater reuse. Elimelech, the Roberto C. Goizueta Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, considers challenges to potential development and implementation along with research needs to overcome them.

Zimmerman, Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering, published the study, “A framework for sustainable nanomaterial selection and design based on performance, hazard, and economic considerations,” that outlines a long-term strategy on designing sustainable engineered nanomaterials. Rather than focusing solely on the function and costs of new nanomaterials, the paper considers ways to provide more information about unintended consequences of certain materials. 

Zimmerman also co-authored a second paper, “Low risk posed by engineered and incidental nanoparticles in drinking water,” a review of studies on potential risks of nanoparticles in drinking water.