CME Undergraduate Marks a Breakthrough in Membrane Technology by Publishing in SCI Tier-1 Journal


The Research Center congratulates undergraduate student Jiang Xinnian from XMUM School of Energy and Chemical Engineering for publishing a research paper in SCI Tier-1 Journal as the first author.  

Titled “Understanding the role of substrates on thin film composite membranes: a green solvent approach with TamiSolve® NxG”, the article was published in the top journal Journal of Membrane Science (latest impact factor of 8.742).

This research was carried out under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yong Wai Fen, the corresponding author of the article. This is a collaborative project with researchers from National University of Singapore and Nanjing Tech University, China.  

The authors reported an innovative approach using TamiSolve® NxG as a green solvent for the preparation of polyethersulfone (PESU) thin film composite (TFC) membrane via nonsolvent induced phase separation. The feasibility study was evaluated in terms of Hansen solubility parameters, ternary phase diagram, physical properties and toxicity. The impact of substrates on the separation performance of TFC membranes were investigated from morphology, thickness, porosity, pore size, hydrophilicity and pure water permeability (PWP). The substrates with different pore sizes were prepared while the TFC membranes demonstrated a promising separation performance with PWP and NaCl rejections of 0.64- 3.54 LMH/bar and 91.4%- 94.1%, respectively. It was found that the pore size and hydrophilicity of the substrates play key roles in determining the surface morphology of TFC, which will influence PWP. The fundamentals gained from this study may facilitate the development of TFC membranes using green solvents towards a sustainable membrane fabrication process.


Figure illustrates the TamiSolve® NxG as a green solvent in fabricating substrate and TFC membrane.

Jiang Xinnian

Jiang: “I deeply appreciate this opportunity to work with Dr. Yong. It was Dr. Yong who helped me overcome one after another research difficulties and guided me on how to become a real researcher in terms of format, conceptualization, methodology, experiment and paper writing. Besides, I respect her rigorous attitude towards research from the bottom of my heart. After going through the research process, I realized the importance of teamwork in finishing a research project. Last but not least, I want to thank myself for my persistence in completing the research project and my passion in membrane technology. In the future, I wish to become an outstanding researcher like Dr. Yong.”

Dr. Yong Wai Fen

Dr. Yong Wai Fen is an Associate Professor with 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, air quality control and water purification. 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 20 peer-reviewed articles in SCI journals and 4 patent applications on membrane science and technology for her groundbreaking work. Google Scholar:


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