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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Photocatalytic Membrane Reactor Types for the Degradation of an Organic Molecule by TiO2-Coated PES Membrane

1
Institute for Advanced Membrane Technology (IAMT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Hermann von Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
2
Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), Permoserstr.15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2020, 10(7), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10070725
Received: 22 May 2020 / Revised: 24 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Membrane Reactors)
Photocatalytic membrane reactors with different configurations (design, flow modes and light sources) have been widely applied for pollutant removal. A thorough understanding of the contribution of reactor design to performance is required to be able to compare photocatalytic materials. Reactors with different flow designs are implemented for process efficiency comparisons. Several figures-of-merit, namely adapted space-time yield (STY) and photocatalytic space-time yield (PSTY), specific energy consumption (SEC) and degradation rate constants, were used to assess the performance of batch, flow-along and flow-through reactors. A fair comparison of reactor performance, considering throughput together with energy efficiency and photocatalytic activity, was only possible with the modified PSTY. When comparing the three reactors at the example of methylene blue (MB) degradation under LED irradiation, flow-through proved to be the most efficient design. PSTY1/PSTY2 values were approximately 10 times higher than both the batch and flow-along processes. The highest activity of such a reactor is attributed to its unique flow design which allowed the reaction to take place not only on the outer surface of the membrane but also within its pores. The enhancement of the mass transfer when flowing in a narrow space (220 nm in flow-through) contributes to an additional MB removal.
Keywords: reactor comparison; mass transfer; residence time; space-time yield; photocatalytic space-time yield; water treatment reactor comparison; mass transfer; residence time; space-time yield; photocatalytic space-time yield; water treatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Regmi, C.; Lotfi, S.; Espíndola, J.C.; Fischer, K.; Schulze, A.; Schäfer, A.I. Comparison of Photocatalytic Membrane Reactor Types for the Degradation of an Organic Molecule by TiO2-Coated PES Membrane. Catalysts 2020, 10, 725.

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