Dr. Alicia K.J. AN

PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (MHKIE), Registered Korea Civil Engineer, Member of the Association of Energy Engineers (MAEE), Certified
Staff title
Associate Professor

Research Interests:

Dr. An's research emphasizes the development of emerging membrane technologies and innovative approaches to solve pressing water quality and quantity issues.   

  • Seawater desalination using membrane technology: Reverse osmosis (RO), membrane distillation (MD), forward osmosis (FO), and hybrid process
  • Emerging technologies such as MD, FO, and Crystallizer for wastewater treatment and resource recovery
  • Membrane fabrication and characterization
  • Membrane-based technologies for removing emerging pollutants
Other Information

On-going research projects


Project No.

Project Title

Grant Type



T21-604 /19-R

A Paradigm-shifting, Fully-integrated, Compact Wastewater-to-resource Facility (WWRF)




CityU 11213819


Preventing Wetting in Membrane Distillation: Membrane Fabrication and Wetting Detection & Control System Development






Design and Development of a Novel Membrane Distillation Process for Textile Wastewater Treatment and Reuse for Zero Liquid Discharge






A Novel Membrane Distillation-crystallizer (MDCr) for Zero Liquid Discharge and Valuable Resource Recovery




CityU 11207717


Engineering Omniphobic Slippery Membrane Surface for Wetting and Fouling Prevention: The Expanded Application of Membrane Distillation for Resource Recovery from Wastewater




City U 21201316


Thermally Driven Energy Efficient Desalination Process: A Hybrid Membrane Distillation-Adsorption Desalination System for Concentrate Treatment





Development of a novel photocatalytic membrane system for bacteria-resistant organics oxidation in wastewater 






Development of a novel photocatalytic membrane system for bacteria-resistant organics oxidation in wastewater 



Group members



Research Topic

Dr. Jiaxin GUO

Postdoctoral fellow

Membrane distillation

Dr. Wei JIA

Postdoctoral fellow

Membrane Development, Forward Osmosis

Dr. Shengmin YIN

Postdoctoral fellow

Hybrid membrane preparation, photocatalytic system

Dr. Baoping ZHANG

Postdoctoral fellow

Advanced membrane

Dr. David von EIFF

Postdoctoral fellow

Water economy

Usman Muhammad FARID

Postdoctoral fellow

Graphene membrane

Bhaskar Jyoti DEKA

Postdoctoral fellow

Membrane distillation

Vicki Man Wai YIM

PhD Year 4/4

Membrane distillation

Joonho YEO

PhD Year 3/4

Co-supervision with Dr. Zhang Lin
Environmental management for water treatment

Noman Khalid KHANZADA

PhD Year 2/3

Reverse osmosis

Paula Jungwon CHOI

PhD Year 2/3

Forward osmosis


PhD Year 2/3

Membrane distillation

Wentao SHANG

PhD Student under Mainland Collaboration Schemes 2/3


Bowen Pak Wai WONG

PhD Year 1/3


Jimyeong HA


Adsorption Desalination



Position(s) Available

Postdoctoral Fellows in the field of Membrane-Based Water and Wastewater Treatment at the School of Energy and Environment



A recent Ph.D. in Emerging membrane processes such as membrane distillation (MD),  forward osmosis (FO), and hybrid system for seawater desalination reverse osmosis (RO), wastewater nutrient recovery, and treatment. Candidates should be familiar with advanced membrane techniques and have a strong background in water chemistry. Strong oral and written communication skills in English and the ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team are essential.


To apply, please submit your CV to Dr. Alicia An at alicia.kjan@cityu.edu.hk. Review of applications will begin immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Salary offered will be highly competitive, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Contract duration is for one year and can be renewed subject to performance up to two years. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Journal Publications in CityU (2015~ current)

Corresponding author*, Publication with PhD studentsa, UG and MSc studentsb, and Postdocscat CityU



  • Deka, B.J. a, Guo, J. c, Khanzada, N.K.aAn, A. K.* Omniphobic re-entrant PVDF membrane with ZnO nanoparticles composite for desalination of low surface tension oily seawater. Water Res. 2019, 114982. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2019.114982 (IF: 7.913)
  • Guo, J. c, Lee, J.-G., Tan, T. a, Yeo, J. c, Wong, P.W. a, Ghaffour, N., An, A. K.*. Enhanced ammonia recovery from wastewater by Nafion membrane with highly porous honeycomb nanostructure and its mechanism in membrane distillation. J. Memb. Sci. 2019, 590, 117265. doi:10.1016/j.memsci.2019.117265 (IF: 7.015)
  • Guo, J.c; Yan, D.Y.S. ; Lam, L.Y; Deka, B. J.a; Lv, X; Ng, Y.H; An, A. K.* Self-cleaning BiOBr/Ag photocatalytic membrane for membrane regeneration under visible light in membrane distillation, Chem. Eng. J. 2019, 378, 122137. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2019.122137. (IF: 8.355) 
  • Yeo, J.a; Zhang, L.*; An, A. K. Estimation of energy efficiency for educational buildings in Hong Kong, J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 235, 453-460. (IF: 6.395)
  • Guo, J.c; Deka, B. J.a; Kim, K.JcAn, A. K.* Regeneration of superhydrophobic TiO2 electrospun membranes in seawater desalination by water flushing in membrane distillation Desalination 2019, 468,114054. (IF: 6.035)
  • Yeo, J.a; Chopra, S. S.*; Zhang, L.; An, A. K.* Life cycle assessment (LCA) of food waste treatment in Hong Kong: On-site fermentation methodology. J. Environ. Manage. 2019240 (August 2018), 343–351. (IF: 4.865)
  • Deka, B. J.a; Lee, E. Jc; Guo, J.c; Kharraz, J.aAn, A. K.* Electrospun nanofiber membranes incorporating PDMS-aerogel superhydrophobic coating with enhanced flux and improved anti-wettability in membrane distillation. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53, 4948-4958. (IF: 7.149)
  • Farid, M. U.a; Khanzada, N. K.aAn, A. K.* Understanding fouling dynamics on functionalized CNT-based membranes: Mechanisms and reversibility. Desalination 2019, 456 (January), 74–84. (IF: 6.035)
  • Yeo, J.a; Oh, J.; Cheung, H. H. L.; Lee, P. K. H.; An, A. K.* Smart Food Waste Recycling Bin (S-FRB) to turn food waste into green energy resources. J. Environ. Manage. 2019, 234 (November 2018), 290–296. (IF: 4.865)
  • Ali, S.; Rehman, S. A. U.; Shah, I. A.; Farid, M. U.a; An, A. K.; Huang, H.* Efficient removal of zinc from water and wastewater effluents by hydroxylated and carboxylated carbon nanotube membranes: Behaviors and mechanisms of dynamic filtration. J. Hazard. Mater. 2019, 365, 64–73. (IF: 7.650)
  • Lee, E.-J.c; Deka, B. J.aAn, A. K.* Reinforced superhydrophobic membrane coated with aerogel-assisted polymeric microspheres for membrane distillation. J. Membr. Sci. 2019, 573, 570–578. (IF: 7.015)



  • Guo, J.a; Li, Z.; Su, L.; Tsang, Y.-F.; An, A.; Yu, C.-F.* Optimization of acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis on the production of ethanol fuel from waste banana peels. Energy Environ. 2018, 29 (8), 1354–1364. (IF: 1.092)
  • Farid, M. U.a; Guo, J.aAn, A. K.* Bacterial inactivation and in situ monitoring of biofilm development on graphene oxide membrane using optical coherence tomography. J. Membr. Sci. 2018, 564, 22–34. (IF: 7.015)
  • Yu, Y.; Zhang, S.; An, A. K.; Furumai, H.* Simple Method for Calculating Hydraulic Behavior of Combined Sewer Overflow from Rainfall Event Data. J. Water Resour. Plan. Manag. 2018, 144 (10), 04018061. (IF: 3.404)
  • Deka, B. J.a; Jeong, S.; Tabatabai, S. A. A.; An, A. K.* Mitigation of algal organic matter released from Chaetoceros affinis and Hymenomonas by in situ generated ferrate. Chemosphere 2018, 206, 718–726. (IF: 5.108)
  • Guo, J.a; Farid, M. U.a; Lee, E.-J.c; Yan, D. Y.-S.; Jeong, S.; An, A. K.* Fouling behavior of negatively charged PVDF membrane in membrane distillation for removal of antibiotics from wastewater. J. Membr. Sci. 2018, 551, 12–19. (IF: 7.015)
  • Yi, S.; Jang, Y.-C.; An, A. K.* Potential for energy recovery and greenhouse gas reduction through waste-to-energy technologies. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 176, 503–511. (IF: 6.395)
  • Gogoi, A.; Mazumder, P.; Tyagi, V. K.; Tushara Chaminda, G. G.; An, A. K.; Kumar, M.* Occurrence and fate of emerging contaminants in water environment: A review. Groundw. Sustain. Dev. 2018, 6, 169–180. 
  • Farid, M. U.a; Jeong, S.; Seo, D. H.; Lau, C.; Ahmed, R.; Gali, N. K.; Ning, Z.; An, A. K.* Mechanistic insight on the in vitro toxicity of graphene oxide against biofilm forming bacteria using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Nanoscale 2018, 10, 4475–4487. (IF: 6.970)



  • Lee, E.-J.c; Deka, B. J.a; Guo, J.a; Woo, Y. C.; Shon, H. K.; An, A. K.* Engineering the Re-Entrant Hierarchy and Surface Energy of PDMS-PVDF Membrane for Membrane Distillation Using a Facile and Benign Microsphere Coating. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2017, 51 (17), 10117–10126. (IF: 7.149)
  • Dong, Y. H.; An, A. K.*; Yan, Y. S.; Yi, S. Hong Kong’s greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector and its projected changes by integrated waste management facilities. J. Clean. Prod. 2017, 149, 690–700. (IF: 6.395)
  • Woo, Y. C.; Tijing, L. D.; Park, M. J.; Yao, M.; Choi, J.-S.; Lee, S.; Kim, S.-H.; An, A.K.; Shon, H. K.* Electrospun dual-layer nonwoven membrane for desalination by air gap membrane distillation. Desalination 2017, 403, 187–198. (IF: 6.035)
  • An, A. K.*; Lee, E.-J.c; Guo, J. a; Jeong, S.; Lee, J.-G.; Ghaffour, N.; Enhanced vapor transport in membrane distillation via functionalized carbon nanotubes anchored into electrospun nanofibres. Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 41562. (IF: 4.011)
  • Farid, M. U.a; Luan, H.-Y. Y.; Wang, Y.; Huang, H.*; An, A. K.; Jalil Khan, R. Increased adsorption of aqueous zinc species by Ar/O2 plasma-treated carbon nanotubes immobilized in hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membrane. Chem. Eng. J. 2017, 325, 239–248. (IF: 8.355)
  • Wu, J.bAn, A. K.*; Guo, J.a; Lee, E.-J.c; Farid, M. U.a; Jeong, S. CNTs reinforced super-hydrophobic-oleophilic electrospun polystyrene oil sorbent for enhanced sorption capacity and reusability. Chem. Eng. J2017, 314, 526–536. (IF: 8.355)
  • Lee, E.-J. cAn, A. K.*; Hadi, P.c; Lee, S.; Woo, Y. C.; Shon, H. K. Advanced multi-nozzle electrospun functionalized titanium dioxide/polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (TiO2/PVDF-HFP) composite membranes for direct contact membrane distillation. J. Membr. Sci. 2017, 524, 712–720. (IF: 7.015)
  • Chen, Y.; Tian, M.; Li, X.; Wang, Y.; An, A. K.; Fang, J.; He, T.* Anti-wetting behavior of negatively charged superhydrophobic PVDF membranes in direct contact membrane distillation of emulsified wastewaters. J. Membr. Sci. 2017, 535, 230–238. (IF: 7.015)
  • An, A. K.*; Guo, J.a; Lee, E.-J.c; Jeong, S.; Zhao, Y.; Wang, Z.; Leiknes, T. PDMS/PVDF hybrid electrospun membrane with superhydrophobic property and drop impact dynamics for dyeing wastewater treatment using membrane distillation. J. Membr. Sci. 2017, 525, 57–67. (IF: 7.015)
  • Lee, J.-G.; Lee, E.-J.c; Jeong, S.; Guo, J.a; An, A. K.*; Guo, H.; Kim, J.; Leiknes, T.; Ghaffour, N. Theoretical modeling and experimental validation of transport and separation properties of carbon nanotube electrospun membrane distillation. J. Membr. Sci. 2017, 526, 395–408. (IF: 7.015)



  • Lee, E.-J.cAn, A. K.*; He, T.; Woo, Y. C.; Shon, H. K. Electrospun nanofiber membranes incorporating fluorosilane-coated TiO2 nanocomposite for direct contact membrane distillation. J. Membr. Sci. 2016, 520, 145–154. (IF: 7.015)
  • Gogoi, A.; Tushara Chaminda, G. G.; An, A. K.; Snow, D. D.; Li, Y.; Kumar, M.* Influence of ligands on metal speciation, transport and toxicity in a tropical river during wet (monsoon) period. Chemosphere 2016, 163, 322–333. (IF: 5.108, Citations: 14)
  • An, A. K.*; Guo, J.a; Jeong, S.; Lee, E. J.c; Tabatabai, S. A. A.; Leiknes, T. O. High flux and antifouling properties of negatively charged membrane for dyeing wastewater treatment by membrane distillation. Water Res. 2016, 103, 362–371. (IF: 7.913)
  • Jung, J.; Shin, Y.; Choi, Y.-J.; Sohn, J.; Lee, S.*; An, A. K. Hydrophobic surface modification of membrane distillation (MD) membranes using water-repelling polymer based on urethane rubber. Desalin. Water Treat. 2016, 57 (22), 10031–10041. (IF: 1.234)
  • Lee, E.-J.cAn, A. K.*; Hadi, P.c; Yan, D. Y. S.; Kim, H.-S. A mechanistic study of in situ chemical cleaning-in-place for a PTFE flat sheet membrane: Fouling mitigation and membrane characterization. Biofouling 2016, 32 (3). (IF: 2.847)
  • Lee, E.-J.cAn, A. K.*; Hadi, P.c; Yan, D. Y. S. Characterizing flat sheet membrane resistance fraction of chemically enhanced backflush. Chem. Eng. J. 2016, 284, 61–67. (IF: 8.355)



  • An, A. K.*; Lam, Y. F.; Hao, S.; Morakinyo, T. E.; Furumai, H. Multi-purpose rainwater harvesting for water resource recovery and the cooling effect. Water Res. 2015, 86, 116–121. (IF: 7.913)
  • Xu, M.; Hadi, P.c; Ning, C.; Barford, J.; An, K. J.; McKay, G.* Aluminosilicate-based adsorbent in equimolar and non-equimolar binary-component heavy metal removal systems. Water Sci. Technol. 2015, 72 (12), 2166–2178. (IF: 1.624)
  • Jiang, Z.; Tijing, L. D.; Amarjargal, A.; Park, C. H.; An, A. K.; Shon, H. K.*; Kim, C. S. Removal of oil from water using magnetic bicomponent composite nanofibers fabricated by electrospinning. Compos. Part B Eng. 2015, 77, 311–318. (IF: 6.864)
  • Hadi, P.c; Yeung, K. Y.; Barford, J.; An, K. J.; McKay, G.* Significance of “effective” surface area of activated carbons on elucidating the adsorption mechanism of large dye molecules. J. Environ. Chem. Eng. 2015, 3 (2), 1029–1037. (
  • Hadi, P.c; Yeung, K. Y.; Barford, J.; An, K. J.; McKay, G.* Significance of microporosity on the interaction of phenol with porous graphitic carbon. Chem. Eng. J. 2015, 269, 20–26. (IF: 8.355)
  • Lee, J.; Kurisu, K.; An, A. K.; Hanaki, K.* Development of the compact city index and its application to Japanese cities. Urban Stud. 2015, 52 (6), 1054–1070. (IF: 3.272)

Book Chapter

  • Hybrid configuration of Membrane Distillation (2019). Membrane Distillation: Materials, Processes and Application. Nova Science Publishers. Under preparation (invited by Prof. Young Moo Lee and Porf. Enrico Drioli).
  • Nanofibers membrane for Membrane Distillation (2019). Membrane distillation: principle, membrane design and hybrid systems. In Press (invited by Prof. (Neal) Tai-Shung Chung, National University of Singapore (NUS).
Staff Image
Ir Dr. Alicia K.J. AN
Contact Information
Office: YEUNG-B5433
Phone: +(852)-3442-9626
Fax: +(852)-3442-0688
Email: alicia.kjan@cityu.edu.hk
Water and Membrane Technolgies

Time slots for consultation

Research Interests
  • Seawater desalination using membrane technology: Reverse osmosis (RO), membrane distillation (MD), forward osmosis (FO), and hybrid process
  • Emerging technologies such as MD, FO, and Crystallizer for wastewater treatment and resource recovery
  • Membrane fabrication and characterization
  • Membrane-based technologies for removing emerging pollutants