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Issue 19, 2014
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Binary metal oxides for composite ultrafiltration membranes

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Abstract

A new ultrafiltration membrane was developed by the incorporation of binary metal oxides of the type Ti(x)Zr(1−x)O2 inside polyethersulfone. Physico-chemical characterization of the binary metal oxides demonstrated that the presence of Ti in the TiO2–ZrO2 system results in an increase of the size of the oxides, and also their dispersity. The crystalline phases of the synthesized binary metal oxides were identified as srilankite and zirconium titanium oxide. The effect of the addition of ZrO2 can be expressed in terms of the inhibition of crystal growth of nanocrystalline TiO2 during the synthesis process. For photocatalytic applications the band gap of the synthesized semiconductors was determined, confirming a gradual increase (blue shift) in the band gap as the amount of Zr loading increases. Distinct distributions of binary metal oxides were found along the permeation axis for the synthesized membranes. Particles with Ti are more uniformly dispersed throughout the membrane cross-section. The physico-chemical characterization of membranes showed a strong correlation between some key membrane properties and the spatial particle distribution in the membrane structure. The proximity of metal oxide fillers to the membrane surface determines the hydrophilicity and porosity of modified membranes. Membranes incorporating binary metal oxides were found to be promising candidates for wastewater treatment by ultrafiltration, considering the observed improvement in flux and anti-fouling properties of doped membranes. Multi-run fouling tests of doped membranes confirmed the stability of permeation through membranes embedded with binary TiO2–ZrO2 particles.

Graphical abstract: Binary metal oxides for composite ultrafiltration membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Dec 2013, accepted on 21 Feb 2014 and first published on 21 Feb 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3TA15347A
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014,2, 7054-7064
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Binary metal oxides for composite ultrafiltration membranes

    A. Sotto, J. Kim, J. M. Arsuaga, G. del Rosario, A. Martínez, D. Nam, P. Luis and B. Van der Bruggen, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2014, 2, 7054
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TA15347A

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