CME Master Student Publishes Review Article in ACS Applied Polymer Materials


The Research Management Center congratulates Lau Siew Kei, a master’s student from XMUM School of Energy and Chemical Engineering, for publishing a review paper in ACS Applied Polymer Materials as the first author.

Entitled “Recent Progress of Zwitterionic Materials as Antifouling Membranes for Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, and Reverse Osmosis”, this article was published under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yong Wai Fen, the paper’s corresponding author.

This review categorized the four foulants (inorganic foulants, nonmigratory foulants, spreadable foulants, and proliferate foulants) according to their characteristics and fouling mechanisms, to bridge the gaps between the recent development of zwitterionic membranes and their relationships with foulants for targeted separation such as ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. The authors also summarized the two antifouling strategies which are active fouling and passive antifouling (e.g., fouling resistance and fouling release). Apart from that, the chemistry, morphology and modification approaches of zwitterionic membranes as well as the separation performance of the state-of-the-art membranes were presented in detail. It is anticipated that this review can help facilitate the next generation of zwitterionic-based membranes with superior separation performance for specific separation.

Figure illustrates the modification methods for the zwitterionic membrane.

Lau Siew Kei

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude towards Dr. Yong for guiding me throughout this writing process. I was deeply impressed by her extensive knowledge on membrane separation. Under her consistent encouragement, I honed my critical thinking skills and improved the quality of my paper. By working on this project, I have enriched my knowledge on water separation membranes, especially on their modification methods and respective separation performance. I hope that this review paper can provide a different perspective on the fabrication of antifouling membranes for sustainable development. As such, state-of-the-art membranes with long lifespan can be synthesized for ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis.

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, 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. Google Scholar:


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