Anthony Straub

Ph.D. Student, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University
B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2012


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Tony Straub is a doctoral student advised by Menachem Elimelech in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on understanding and optimizing membrane performance in engineered osmosis for water and energy production.

During his first semester, Tony examined how transport properties of membranes change as a result of process conditions and membrane pore wetting. He will continue to built on this experience, focusing on characterization of membrane performance in pressure retarded osmosis (PRO).

PRO is a process that produces electric power by harnessing the free energy of mixing released when a high salinity solution meets a dilute solution. In the case of seawater and river water, the amount of energy released during mixing is equal to 270m of hydraulic head. PRO can also be used to convert low-grade heat to electricity using thermally separated draw solutions. While the process has been advanced in recent years, membrane performance and module design remain critical issues as it scales up.

Tony received his undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He conducted research in the lab of Helen Nguyen on a variety of topics ranging from solar disinfection to slow sand filtration. Tony also worked as a research intern for two summers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel on the development of low-fouling ultrafiltration membranes.


pdfs and supporting information for group publications available on the main publications page.
  1. Straub, A.P., Yip, N.Y., and Elimelech, M. "Raising the Bar: Increased Hydraulic Pressure Allows Unprecedented High Power Densities in Pressure-Retarded Osmosis", Environmental Science & Technology Letters, Volume 1, November 2013, pages 55-59.
  2. Tiraferri, A., Yip, N.Y., Straub, A.P., Romero-Vargas Castrillon, S., and Elimelech, M. "A Method for the Simultaneous Determination of Transport and Structural Parameters of Forward Osmosis Membranes", Journal of Membrane Science, Volume 444, October 2013, pages 523–538.
  3. Bradley, I., Straub, A., Maraccini, P., Markazi, S., & Nguyen, T. H. "Iron oxide amended biosand filters for virus removal." Water Research, Volume 45, 2011, pages 4501-10.
  4. Romero, O.C., Straub, A.P., Kohn, T., Nguyen, T.H. "Role of Temperature and Suwannee River Natural Organic Matter on Inactivation Kinetics of Rotavirus and Bacteriophage MS2 by Solar Irradiation." Environmental Science and Technology, Volume 45, 2011, pages 10385-10393.