Suwan Meng


PhD Candidate

Contact Details

Room 208, Chemical Sciences Bldg
The University of New South Wales
Sydney, 2052, Australia

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  • Bachelor of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Research Project

Research Project Title: Superhydrophobic membranes for membrane distillation and crystallisation

Membrane distillation is a vapour pressure-driven technique where a hydrophobic membrane is used as a separation barrier between two fluid streams. Recent research has targeted the potential application of desalination and membrane crystallisation using membrane distillation systems. However, practical implementation of membrane distillation can be compromised by various factors, with membrane wetting being the biggest challenge. Superhydrophobic modifications of the membrane surface can be used to minimise the degree of wetting, allowing for longer operating times, but little is known about the performance of superhydrophobic membranes in membrane distillation.

This project therefore aims to:

1. Fabricate superhydrophobic membranes and examine the effects of surface structure on membrane distillation performance.

S. Meng, J. Mansouri, Y. Ye, V. Chen, Effect of templating agents on the properties and membrane distillation performance of TiO2-coated PVDF membranes, Journal of Membrane Science, 450 (2014) 48-59.

2. Investigate the anti-fouling performance of superhydrophobic membranes in membrane distillation.

S. Meng, Y. Ye, J. Mansouri, V. Chen, Fouling and crystallisation behaviour of superhydrophobic nano-composite PVDF membranes in direct contact membrane distillation, Journal of Membrane Science, 463 (2014) 102-112.

3. Explore the mechanisms of crystallization on membrane surfaces during membrane distillation of high salinity feeds.

S. Meng, Y. Ye, J. Mansouri, V. Chen, Crystallization behavior of salts during membrane distillation with hydrophobic and superhydrophobic capillary membranes, Journal of Membrane Science, 473 (2015) 165-176.

4. Develop superhydrophobic nanofibre membranes with high mass transfer for membrane distillation.


  • First prize in the 2014 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research.
  • Oral presentation award at the NSW JCEC Postgraduate Symposium 2014.
  • Poster presentation award at the 10th International Congress on Membranes and Membrane Processes (ICOM2014).
  • Oral presentation award at the 8th International Membrane Science & Technology Conference (IMSTEC 2013).