Dr. Yong Wai Fen and CME Student Publish in Top Journal (Progress in Materials Science)


Research Management Center congratulates Associate Prof. Dr. Yong Wai Fen from School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Malaysia (XMUM) on publishing a review article entitled “Recent Advances in Polymer Blend Membranes for Gas Separation and Pervaporation” in Progress in Materials Science as the first and the corresponding author. Progress in Materials Science is a peer reviewed Q1 journal with an impact factor of 31.560 and ranks as the Top 1 journal in Materials Science category.

Her Final Year Project (FYP) student, Zhang Hao from Chemical Engineering Programme, has been named as the second author due to his active contribution to the work.

Fig. 1. Schematic representation of polymer blends.

This review summarizes the fundamental understanding of phase behaviors, molecular interactions, separation properties and prediction models from the polymer blend membranes. Moreover, it has also reviewed the recent progress on state-of-the-art polymer blend membranes in various energy-related applications, especially for gas separation and pervaporation. The perspectives on the current challenges and future opportunities to facilitate polymer blend membranes are comprehensively discussed.

The authors stated the significance of the work:

“Recent interest in developing high performance polymeric membranes has evolved the molecular transport performance in gas separation and pervaporation. The synthesis of polymer with novel structures may improve the separation performance of a membrane. However, it always accompanies undeterminable risk such as economic costs and development duration. Polymer blends have gained interdisciplinary interest as a promising modification strategy owing to the advantages of being versatile, straightforward and the least expensive besides having cost- and time-effective routes in developing membranes with desirable separation performance. Despite these advantages, polymer blends have encountered the main challenges of compatibility at the molecular level, resulting in unsatisfactory membrane separation performance. The thermodynamic properties of polymer blends lead to different phase behaviors of the end products such as being miscible, immiscible and partially miscible.”

Dr. Yong’s advice to XMUM undergraduates:

Open your eyes to explore, to learn and to have a dream of excellence. There are plenty of research opportunities from the lecturers of XMUM. If you are persistent to approach and learn new perspectives from others, I strongly believe that your perseverance today will make a big difference tomorrow. Our world is getting more and more competitive, thus you should be prepared and excel yourself to bring significant contributions to the society.

With the advantages of being environmentally benign, highly energy efficient and with small footprint, membrane separation is one of the emerging technologies for energy and water purification. We can develop next-generation advanced materials towards green and sustainable energy through research.

Besides, the Master and PhD programmes in Chemical Engineering (at XMUM) have obtained approval from the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). You are welcome to join us.

Zhang Hao is the FYP student of Dr. Yong Wai Fen. He says:

Dr. Yong taught us Mass Transfer where she introduced me to the importance of molecular diffusions in membrane separation. Since then, I started to learn about membrane separation, esp. gas and liquid separation, in her research group. I highly appreciate Dr. Yong for offering me endless support, guidance and encouragement which have motivated me throughout the preparation of the manuscript. Moreover, I would like to show my gratitude to her patient guidance in improving my English proficiency and scientific writing skills. It is Dr. Yong who has inspired me to further my postgraduate studies. I enjoy working in her group, which feels like a family.

This paper is available online: 



About Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yong Wai Fen


Dr. Yong Wai Fen is an Associate Professor of School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University Malaysia. She obtained her PhD degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2014 and continued working there as a postdoctoral fellow till 2017. Her research focuses on developing sustainable materials and membrane technologies for biogas separation, industrial air purification, haze removal and air quality control. She was awarded as Chartered Engineer by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), UK in 2019. She has won several prestigious awards including 2016 Green Talents Award and Top 50 outstanding Green Talents alumni from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Finalist of the Energy and Sustainability Awards from Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Singapore, Travel Grant Award from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Australia, and Elias Klein Travel Award from North American Membrane Society (NAMS). To date, Dr. Yong has published more than 19 peer-reviewed articles in SCI journals and 3 patent applications on membrane science and technology for her groundbreaking work.

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About Zhang Hao

Zhang Hao is a fourth-year XMUM undergraduate student from Chemical Engineering Programme. He has received the admission offer to consecutive Master-PhD program offered by the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, China.

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