A high-performance photocatalytic ceramic membrane was developed by direct growth of a TiO2 structure on a macroporous alumina support using a hydrothermal method. The morphological nanostructure of TiO2 on the support was successfully controlled via the interaction between the TiO2 precursor and a capping agent, diethylene glycol (DEG). The growth of anatase TiO2 nanorods was observed both on the membrane surface and pore walls. The well-organized nanorods TiO2 reduced the perturbation of the alumina support, thus controlling the hydrolysis rate of the TiO2 precursor and reducing membrane fouling. However, a decrease in the amount of the DEG capping agent significantly reduced membrane permeability, owing to the formation of nonporous clusters of TiO2 on the support. Distribution of the organized TiO2 nanorods on the support was very effective for the improvement of the organic removal efficiency and antifouling under ultraviolet illumination. The TiO2 nanostructure associated with the reactive crystalline phase, rather than the amount of layered TiO2 formed on the support, which was found to be the key to controlling photocatalytic membrane reactivity. These experimental findings would provide a new approach for the development of efficacious photocatalytic membranes with improved performance for wastewater treatment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, Republic of Korea (NRF-2017R1D1A1B06028030). This subject is supported by the Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE) as "Advanced Technology Program for Environmental Industry" (Technologies for the Risk Assessment and Management 20170001400008).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Aquatic Science
- Water Science and Technology