You can edit almost every page by Creating an account. Otherwise, see the FAQ.

Ho Kyong Shon

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Professor Ho Kyong Shon is an Australia Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow, President of the Membrane Society of Australasia (MSA), Editor for the Journal of Desalination, and Deputy Director of Center for Technology in Water and Wastewater. He specializes in understanding physico-chemical water treatment processes in water, wastewater and seawater. His research career focuses on studying advanced membrane fabrication and the application of membrane based desalination in detailing membrane fouling mechanisms and developing novel desalination technology.

He has co-authored over 350 high-impact refereed journal publications (51 h-index and > 9900 total citations) including five patents and numerous international awards over the last 16 years.

He is currently supervising several postdoctoral research fellows, ten PhD students and two Masters students related to membrane and nanotechnology for water purification. His website is found at

Google Scholar:


Desalination Journal:



Research Interests

  • Membrane technologies
  • Resource recovery
  • Desalination
  • Wastewater treatment and reuse technologies
  • Advanced oxidation processes
  • Nanoparticle for water purification

Summary of my area of expertise

Professor Ho Kyong Shon has internationally recognized expertise in the field of desalination and water reuse.  Dr Shon has in particular made significant contributions in terms of novel process development, membrane fabrication, membrane hybrid systems and new coagulant for water purification.

Low-energy and low-cost fertilizer forward osmosis (FDFO) and its membrane fabrication for desalination

Drought and water scarcity are common in Australia and desalination is increasingly sought to augment fresh water supplies to meet the growing water demand. Although, the cost of reverse osmosis based desalination has substantially reduced, this method of desalination still remains energy intensive (4 kWh/m3).  Dr Shon’s research, funded by National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) and the Australia Research Council (ARC), has been aimed at making desalination more sustainable by reducing its energy demands. It has led to the development of a novel low-energy FDFO desalination process and forward osmosis membrane fabrication using electrospinning.

Development of FDFO pilot scale desalination funded by NCEDA

Forward osmosis is an emerging and novel desalination technology with significantly lower energy costs than conventional technology.  As yet there has been no large-scale application of forward osmosis because of the lack of a suitable draw solution that can be easily recovered with minimum energy. Dr Shon’s research evaluated the potential of various forms of fertilisers for use as forward osmosis draw solute and then optimised the process parameters for desalination of brackish groundwater ultimately leading to the design of a pilot scale forward osmosis desalination unit for fertigation application.

It is anticipated that such technology could be suitably applied in the Murray-Darling basin to convert brackish groundwater into nutrient rich irrigation water with minimum energy. The concept is that the forward osmosis desalination process could be integrated with the existing salt interception scheme in the basin where brackish groundwater is pumped out and simply lost through evaporation. Such a desalination scheme is expected to have a significant impact on agriculture in the drought prone areas of Australia through sustainable use of brackish groundwater.  

A concentrated solution of fertilisers was used as osmotic agent (draw solution) and brackish water as feed water. The process is not significantly different from the conventional forward osmosis desalination process except that it excludes a draw solution recovery process, which significantly saves energy cost. The process consists of a forward osmosis membrane unit with one face connected to the feed water and the other face connected to the draw solution. The draw solution in this particular case consists of only soluble fertiliser which after extraction of water can be used directly for fertigation with or without the need of further dilution. Water is extracted from the saline water (feed water) due to high osmotic gradient between the concentrated fertiliser draw solution and the feed solution. The only energy used in this process is for running the two pumps which do not exert any hydraulic pressure.

This design concept for a novel, low-energy FDFO desalination process was developed by Dr. Shon’s team in collaboration with NSW State Water, CSIRO, Korea University and Yale University through two projects funded by NCEDA. The first project focussed on fundamentals of FDFO process and its success precipitated an invitation to apply for an accelerated proposal  for designing and fabricating a FDFO pilot scale desalination unit with a capacity of about 1 m3/day. Testing of the pilot scale scheme is in progress.

In addition to the design and fabrication of the pilot scale scheme, Dr. Shon’s research in this FDFO area has achieved: (i) 8 high-impact journal publications since 2011 (one of the papers published in 2011 has been already cited more than 100 times); (ii) an invitation by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to organise the first forward osmosis book as a chief editor: “Forward Osmosis Process: Fundamentals & Applications” in recognition of the quality of his achievements in this area; (iii) successful training of five postgraduate students and one postdoctoral research fellow (one PhD and two Masters students already completed their theses) and (iv) two awards - the Novel Technology Award, International Desalination and workshop (IDW) in 2012 and an Innovation award, UTS Faculty showcase in 2013.

Novel forward osmosis membrane development

Dr Shon has recently been awarded an ARC to commence. This project is aimed at developing very thin and mechanically robust forward osmosis membrane with high performance for FDFO application. This uses two approaches to reducing the membrane structural thickness, both employing electrospun nanofiber. The first approach is termed as paired design support layer that involves using electrospun nanofiber as backing layer instead of traditional polymer fabrics. The use of electrospun nanofiber as backing layer significantly reduces the thickness of the backing layer. The traditional polymer backing layer used in the synthesis of thin film composite membrane provides additional membrane support thickness by more than 100 µm which can significantly contribute towards concentration polarisation effects. By selecting a suitable material, the thickness of the backing layer can be significantly reduced without compromising the mechanical strength. The second approach involves completely removing the polymer cast-mid layer and using only electrospun nanofiber as support layer for the rejection layer. This approach produces the thinnest membrane support layer with the removal of the cast-mid layer.

This research in fabricating a new generation of forward osmosis membrane and developing novel process will be an opportunity to work closely with other researchers at UTS including distinguished visiting scholars to UTS from all over the world. Generating nanofibrous forward osmosis membrane and low energy FDFO desalination process is a novel and new approach and this research demonstrates how Dr Shon should embark research on cutting-edge technologies. Dr Shon has collaborated with overseas leading researchers related to forward osmosis technology in USA, Singapore and Korea and he is currently negotiating with numerous industries such as Centennial Coal, Samsung in Korea, CSM membranes in Korea and Toyobo in Japan to open the commercial opportunities.

Novel membrane distillation membrane development

Dr Shon is actively developing membrane distillation membrane using electrospining for desalination. The main aim of this research is to synthesize and develop a membrane with engineered properties to overcome these two major limitations and enhance the efficiency of membrane distillation process ultimately increasing the commercialization prospects of MD technology. This project involves engineering and improving the design and properties of the membrane structure by developing a superhydrophobic and highly-porous membrane using multi-component and functionalized nanofibrous layers. The specific aims of this project are to develop a novel, next-generation high performance superhydrophobic membrane with engineered and improved surface and structural properties using electrospun nanofibrous functionalized membrane layers and to conduct fundamental studies and experimental verification of the influences of the improved surface, structural and functional properties of the membrane and develop modified predictive models for water flux in the membrane distillation process using RO brine .

By using the different electrospinning configurations, we can fabricate highly hydrophobic membranes with high porosity, however, it is also deemed necessary that the mechanical integrity of the membrane is considered, thus we propose to adopt the following innovative techniques:

  • By using a functionally-graded nanofibrous membrane structure with varying pore sizes. The advantage of this configuration is the fabrication of highly porous structure at the feed side and bigger fiber pores and fiber diameter in the permeate side providing enhanced mechanical strength of the membrane structure.
  • By using multi-component nanofibrous support layer. Multi-spinneret electrospinning could be an excellent method to fabricate hybrid materials containing mixed properties of each component polymer.
  • Incorporation of nanoparticles in the electrospun nanofibrous support layer that can enhance the mechanical strength of the membrane and provide functionality. For example, adding carbon nanotubes in polyurethane nanofiber enhanced the mechanical properties of the composite nanofiber and provided higher hydrophobicity due to the presence of hydrophobic carbon nanotubes on the surface. In our previous study, when compared with PU film, PU nanofiber exhibited higher hydrophobicity due to increased surface roughness as well as the presence of carbon nanotube.
  • By heat-pressing of nanofibrous membrane to increase its mechanical properties.

Titanfloc coagulation for innovative water purification

Since 2005, Dr Shon has explored a novel titanium coagulant development to generate TiO2 from Ti-salt coagulated sludge and its application of photocatalysis using photoreactive TiO2 nanomaterials for water purification. This research uses a novel coagulant of titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) instead of more commonly used salts of iron (FeCl3) and aluminum (Al2(SO4)3) to remove particulate and dissolved organic matter from the wastewater in sewage treatment plants (STPs). Titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) successfully removed organic matter to the same extent as Fe and Al salts. The settling of Ti sludge was faster which made the subsequent separation process easier. After flocculation with titanium salt, the settled floc (sludge) was calcined to produce functional titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterials, which have the same quality as that of commercial TiO2. Thus, the use of Ti salt instead of Fe or Al salts is more efficient and can recover a byproduct of functional TiO2 nanomaterials of 450 kg/day from a medium size STP of 25 ML/d. The cost of TiCl4 is not high and similar to that of Al and Fe salts. This process will be efficient and economical not only in terms of removal of organic matter, but also in sludge reduction and wastewater reuse and produces a viable commercial product. The amount of TiO2 nanomaterials recovered by this process from STPs meet the demand of TiO2 used in major applications of TiO2 photocatalysis such as pigments, paper, solar cells and environmental applications for the degradation of waste and for hydrogen generation by photocatalytic water-splitting. Sludge disposal is one of the most costly and environmentally problematic challenges of modern wastewater treatment worldwide. In this research, Dr Shon’s contribution could significantly lower the cost of waste disposal, protect the environment and public health and yield economically useful by-product TiO2. Therefore this research has high potential impacts of scientific innovation and environmental and economic benefits.

This novel processes which are fully patented by UTS. This research concept was awarded several prestigious awards: i) Global Honour Award of the 2012 IWA Project Innovation Awards, ii) Winner of the 2012 IWA Project Innovation Awards, Asia Pacific Regional Awards 2012, iii) Water Environment Merit Award (WEMA) 2006, NSW Branch of Australian Water Association (AWA).


  • The Executive of Memrane Socieity of Australasia
  • Council Member of Aseanian Membrane Society
  • School Research Commitee, 2016–present
  • Faculty Board Member at UTS 2013–2015
  • Course coordinator in Civil and Environmental Engineering 2012–2014
  • Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment 2014–present
  • Environmental Chemical Processes
  • Water and Environmental Design 2012–2014
  • Fluid Mechanics 2012–2014
  • FEIT library Committee 2009–present
  • Research seminar coordinator in Civil and Environmental Engineering 2007–2014
  • Pollution control and Waste management 2011–2012
  • Wastewater engineering (College of Technical And Further Education (TAFE) 2009
  • Water storage and supply (College of Technical And Further Education (TAFE) 2008
  • Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering  2008–2014
  • Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering  2007
  • Water Quality modelling  on organic characterisation at UTS (49113) 2007
  • Waste and Pollution at UTS (49123)  2007
  • Environmental analysis  2000–2002
  • Advanced Mathematics 2000–2002

first draft[edit]

This article "Ho Kyong Shon" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Ho Kyong Shon. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.