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Open AccessArticle

Photocatalytic Microporous Membrane against the Increasing Problem of Water Emerging Pollutants

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Centre of Physics, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Department of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S), University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Institute for Materials Science and Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
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International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Avenida Mestre José Veiga, 4715-330 Braga, Portugal
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Dresden Center for Computational Materials Science, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
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Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, TU Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany
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Basque Center for Materials, Applications, and Nanostructures, UPV/EHU Science Park, 48940 Leioa, Spain
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IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pedro M. Martins and Joana M. Ribeiro contributed equally to this work.
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101649
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 8 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 21 May 2019
Emerging pollutants are an essential class of recalcitrant contaminants that are not eliminated from water after conventional treatment. Here, a photocatalytic microporous membrane based on polyvinylidene difluoride-co-trifluoroethylene (PVDF−TrFE) with immobilised TiO2 nanoparticles, prepared by solvent casting, was tested against representative emerging pollutants. The structure and composition of these polymeric membranes were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, porosimetry, and contact angle goniometry. The nanocomposites exhibited a porous structure with a uniform distribution of TiO2 nanoparticles. The addition of TiO2 did not change the structure of the polymeric matrix; however, it increased the wettability of the nanocomposite. The nanocomposites degraded 99% of methylene blue (MB), 95% of ciprofloxacin (CIP), and 48% of ibuprofen (IBP). The microporous nanocomposite exhibited no photocatalytic efficiency loss after four use cycles, corresponding to 20 h of UV irradiation. The reusability of this system confirms the promising nature of polymer nanocomposites as the basis for cost-effective and scalable treatments of emerging pollutants. View Full-Text
Keywords: immobilization; pharmaceuticals; photocatalysis; PVDF-TrFE; titanium dioxide immobilization; pharmaceuticals; photocatalysis; PVDF-TrFE; titanium dioxide
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, P.M.; Ribeiro, J.M.; Teixeira, S.; Petrovykh, D.Y.; Cuniberti, G.; Pereira, L.; Lanceros-Méndez, S. Photocatalytic Microporous Membrane against the Increasing Problem of Water Emerging Pollutants. Materials 2019, 12, 1649.

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