Faculty Directory

Zhang, Chen

Zhang, Chen

Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Maryland Energy Innovation Institute
1140 Kim Building, College Park, MD

Prior to joining UMD, Dr. Zhang was a Research Engineer in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also obtained his doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering.

The overarching goal of his research is to reduce the CO2 footprints of large-scale separations, which currently consume roughly half of U.S. industrial energy use. Dr. Zhang’s lab aims to achieve this goal through leveraging material chemistry, transport, and scalable device fabrication to create advanced membranes for sustainable separation processes. More specifically, his research focuses on (1) understanding the control of molecular-scale membrane chemistry and structure to provide tunable transport properties for target fluid separations; (2) translating molecular-scale discoveries to hollow fibers with ultra-thin separation layers suitable for large-scale applications. His research addresses a broad range of challenging separation problems crucial to sustainable production of energy, clean water, bulk chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Current interests include: (1) Membrane separation of hydrocarbon vapor mixtures; (2) Organic solvent nanofiltration membranes with tunable solvent permeability and ultra-high solute rejections; (3) Non-polymeric desalination membranes with ultra-high rejections of monovalent ions and low-molecular-weight uncharged solutes.


Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Honors and Awards

ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, 2021

NSF CAREER Award, 2021

Minta Martin Award, 2019



Membrane science, transport in nanoporous materials, advanced hollow fibers, and sustainable separation processes.

CHBE440: Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design (Spring 2020-2023)

CHBE437: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory (Fall 2018-2022)

An updated list of publications can be viewed at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=EJFKDMkAAAAJ&hl=en

  • Iyer, G. M.; Zhang, C., "Precise Hydrogen Sieving by Carbon Molecular Sieve Membranes Derived from Solution-Processable Aromatic Polyamides" ACS Materials Letters, 2023, 5, 243-248.
  • Liu, L.;  Ku, C.-E.; Zhang, C., "Petrified Hollow Fiber Membranes with Hierarchical Pores" ACS Materials Letters, 2022, 4, 938-943.
  • Liu, L.;  Liu, D.; Zhang, C., "High-temperature hydrogen/propane separations in asymmetric carbon molecular sieve hollow fiber membranes" Journal of Membrane Science, 2022, 642, 119978.
  • Cao, Y.;  Zhang, K.;  Zhang, C.; Koros, W. J., "Carbon molecular sieve hollow fiber membranes derived from dip-coated precursor hollow fibers comprising nanoparticles" Journal of Membrane Science 2022, 649, 120279.
  • Tran, D.;  Zhang, C.; Choi, K. Y., "Effects of Silica Support Properties on the Performance of Immobilized Metallocene Catalysts for Ethylene Polymerization" Macromolecular Reaction Engineering 2022, 16, 2200020.
  • Pan, Y.;  Bhowmick, A.;  Wu, W.;  Zhang, Y.;  Diao, Y.;  Zheng, A.;  Zhang, C.;  Xie, R.;  Liu, Z.;  Meng, J.; Liu, D., "Titanium Silicalite-1 Nanosheet-Supported Platinum for Non-oxidative Ethane Dehydrogenation" ACS Catalysis 2021, 11, 9970-9985.
  • Iyer, G. M.;  Liu, L.; Zhang, C., "Hydrocarbon separations by glassy polymer membranes" Journal of Polymer Science, 2020, 58, 2482-2517.
  • Shi, Y.;  Liang, B.;  Lin, R.-B.;  Zhang, C.; Chen, B., "Gas Separation via Hybrid Metal–Organic Framework/Polymer Membranes" Trends in Chemistry, 2020, 2, 254-269.
  • Kumar, R.;  Zhang, C.;  Itta, A. K.; Koros, W. J., "Highly permeable carbon molecular sieve membranes for efficient CO2/N2 separation at ambient and subambient temperatures" Journal of Membrane Science 2019, 583, 9-15.
  • Zhang, C.;  Kumar, R.; Koros, W. J., "Ultra-thin skin carbon hollow fiber membranes for sustainable molecular separations" AIChE Journal 2019, 65, e16611.
  • Liu, G.; Chernikova, V.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, K.; Belmabkhout, Y.; Shekhah, O.; Zhang, C.; Yi, S.; Eddaoudi, M.; Koros, W.J., "Mixed Matrix Formulations with MOF Molecular Sieving for Key Energy-Intensive Separations" Nature Materials, 2018, 17, 283-289.
  • Zhang, C.; Koros, W. J., "Ultraselective Carbon Molecular Sieve Membranes with Tailored Synergistic Sorption Selective Properties" Advanced Materials, 2017, 1701631.
  • Koros, W. J.; Zhang, C., "Materials for Next-Generation Molecularly Selective Synthetic Membranes" Nature Materials, 2017, 16, 289-297.
  • Zhang, C.; Wenz, G. B.; Williams, P. J.; Mayne, J. M.; Liu, G.; Koros, W. J., "Purification of Aggressive Supercritical Natural Gas using Carbon Molecular Sieve Hollow Fiber Membranes" Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2017, 56, 10482-10490.
  • Zhang, C.; Koros, W. J., "Tailoring the Transport Properties of Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks by Post-Synthetic Thermal Modification" ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2015, 7, 23407-23411.
  • Zhang, C.; Koros, W. J., "Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-Enabled Membranes: Challenges and Opportunities" The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2015, 6, 3841-3849.
  • Zhang, C.; Zhang, K.; Xu, L.; Labreche, Y.; Kraftschik, B.; Koros, W. J., "Highly Scalable ZIF-Based Mixed-Matrix Hollow Fiber Membranes for Advanced Hydrocarbon Separations" AIChE Journal, 2014, 60, 2625-2635
  • Zhang, C.*; Gee, J. A.*; Sholl, D. S.; Lively, R. P., "Crystal-Size-Dependent Structural Transitions in Nanoporous Crystals: Adsorption-Induced Transitions in ZIF-8" The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2014, 118, 20727-20733. (*Equal contributions)
  • Zhang, C.; Dai, Y.; Johnson, J.; Karvan, O.; Koros, W. J., "High Performance ZIF-8/6FDA-DAM Mixed Matrix Membrane for Propylene/Propane Separations" Journal of Membrane Science, 2012, 389, 34-42.
  • Zhang, C.; Lively, R. P.; Zhang, K.; Johnson, J. R.; Karvan, O.; Koros, W. J., "Unexpected Molecular Sieving Properties of Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8" The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 2012, 3, 2130-2134.

2nd Annual Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department Showcase

2nd Annual Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department Showcase

Taylor Woehl Promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Promotion will go into effect later this summer.

ChBE Professors Taylor Woehl and Chen Zhang Receive NSF CAREER Award

Woehl and Zhang join four other Clark School faculty members who received CAREERs earlier this year.

Chemical Engineering at Maryland On the Rise

2022 USNWR Graduate Rankings put ChemE at Maryland at #19.

Clark School Engineers Create Solutions for a Crisis

Engineering labs pivot to produce and distribute hand sanitizer and surgical masks.