Photocatalytic membrane reactors (PMR), with immobilized photocatalysts, play an important role in process intensification strategies; this approach offers a simple solution to the typical catalyst recovery problem of photocatalytic processes and, by simultaneous filtration and photocatalysis of the aqueous streams, facilitates clean water production in a single unit. The synthesis of polymer photocatalytic membranes has been widely explored, while studies focused on ceramic photocatalytic membranes represent a minority. However, previous reports have identified that the successful synthesis of polymeric photocatalytic membranes still faces certain challenges that demand further research, e.g., (i) reduced photocatalytic activity, (ii) photocatalyst stability, and (iii) membrane aging, to achieve technological competitiveness with respect to suspended photocatalytic systems. The novelty of this review is to go a step further to preceding literature by first, critically analyzing the factors behind these major limitations and second, establishing useful guidelines. This information will help researchers in the field in the selection of the membrane materials and synthesis methodology for a better performance of polymeric photocatalytic membranes with targeted functionality; special attention is focused on factors affecting membrane aging and photocatalyst stability.
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