Yifan Zhu, PhD student

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Research Topic

Modeling of virus removal performance and related health risks in water reclamation practice employing AnMBR

Research Abstract

The ever-growing world population is challenging our capability of ensuring water supply, more advanced and sustainable ways of wastewater reclamation is the key. As an emerging technology, anaerobic membrane bioreactor has drawn interest worldwide for its  nutrient removal capability and energy efficiency. However, the effluent may still contain virus particles and pose a threat to public health. Studies on its virus removal performance and mechanisms are still at an early stage. In addition, the real-time monitoring of virus removal performance would be of great significance for further applications. This study aims at the modeling of virus removal efficiency and related health risk management by developing a prediction model using on-line sensors.

 Academic Backgrounds

Sept. 2013 – Jun. 2017 Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China

Sept. 2017 – Dec. 2018 Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, USA


 Academic Papers

  1. Interface behavior and removal mechanisms of human pathogenic viruses in anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR)
    Baolei Wu, Huan Liu, Zhendong Liu, Jinfan Zhang, Xuanyu Zhai, Yifan Zhu, Daisuke Sano, Xiaochang Wang, Rong Chen
    Water Research, July 2022, 219, 118596..
  2. COVID-19 case prediction via wastewater surveillance in a low prevalence urban community: A modeling approach
    Yifan Zhu, Wakana Oishi, Chikako Maruo, Sewwandi Bandara, Mu Lin, Mayuko Saito, Masaaki Kitajima, Daisuke Sano
    Journal of Water and Health, February 2022, 20(2), 459-470.
  3. Comparison of five polyethylene glycol precipitation procedures for the RT-qPCR based recovery of murine hepatitis virus, bacteriophage phi6, and pepper mild mottle virus as a surrogate for SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater
    Shotaro Torii, Wakana Oishi, Yifan Zhu, Ocean Thakali, Bikash Malla, Zaizhi Yu, Bo Zhao, Chisato Arakawa, Masaaki Kitajima, Akihiko Hata, Masaru Ihara, Shigeru Kyuwa, Daisuke Sano, Eiji Haramoto, Hiroyuki Katayama
    Science of the Total Environment, 2022, 807, 150722.
  4. Early warning of COVID-19 in Tokyo via wastewater-based epidemiology: How feasible it really is?
    Yifan Zhu, Wakana Oishi, Mayuko Saito, Masaaki Kitajima, Daisuke Sano
    Journal of Water and Environment Technology, 2021, 19(3), 170-183.
  5. Early warning of COVID-19 via wastewater-based epidemiology: potential and bottlenecks
    Yifan Zhu, Wakana Oishi, Chikako Maruo, Mayuko Saito, Rong Chen, Masaaki Kitajima, Daisuke Sano
    Science of the Total Environment, May 2021, 767, 145124.
  6. Virus removal by membrane bioreactors: A review of mechanism investigation and modeling efforts
    Yifan Zhu, Rong Chen, Yu-You Li, Daisuke Sano.
    Water Research, January 2021, 188, 116522.
  7. The effect of GD1a ganglioside-expressing bacterial strains on murine norovirus infectivity
    Yifan Zhu, Hiroki Kawai, Satoshi Hashiba, Mohan Amarasiri, Masaaki Kitajima, Satoshi Okabe, Daisuke Sano
    Molecules, 2020, 25(18), 4084.
  8. A novel heterogeneous system for sulfate radical generation through sulfite activation on a CoFe2O4 nanocatalyst surface
    Zizheng Liu, Shaojie Yang, Yanan Yuan, Jing Xu, Yifan Zhu, Jinjun Li, Feng Wu
    Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2017, 324, 583-592.
  9. Efficient oxidation of bisphenol A with oxysulfer radicals generated by iron-catalyzed autoxidation of sulfite at circumneutral pH under UV irradiation
    Yingtan Yu, Suqi Li, Xinzi Peng, Shaojie Yang, Yifan Zhu, Long Chen, Feng Wu, Gilles Mailhot
    Environmental Chemistry Letters, 2016, 14(4), 527-532.


Conference Presentations

  1. Buliding a wastewater surveillance-based weekly COVID-19 case prediction model in Sendai, Japan
    Yifan Zhu, Daisuke Sano
    The 7th Food and Environmental Virology Conference
    Santiago de Compostela, Spain (May 16-19, 2022)
  2. Estimating the scaling factor connecting gastroenteritis prevalence and wastewater surveillance: Towards the quantitative implementation of wastewater-based epidemiology
    Yifan Zhu, Daisuke Sano
    Water Environment and Technology Conference Online 2021(WET2021, Aug. 11-12, 2021)
  3. Gastroenteritis patient prediction based on wastewater-based epidemiology and dynamic modeling
    Yifan Zhu, Wakana Oishi, Chikako Maruo, Masaaki Kitajima, Daisuke Sano
    Water Environment and Technology Conference 2020(WET2020, Nov. 7-8, 2020, Online)
  4. Can we predict the COVID-19 epidemic by testing wastewater? A framework of wastewater-based epidemiology combined with deterministic compartmental model.
    Yifan Zhu
    2nd Academic Forum on Environmental Forum (Oct, 30, 2020. Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University)



  1. Excellent Presentation Award at WET2021
    Water and Environment Technology Conference, Japan Society on Water Environment, Aug. 12, 2021.
  2. Best Poster Award at the 2nd Academic Forum on Environmental Studies
    Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University, Oct. 30, 2020.