Today, there is an increasing interest in improving the physicochemical properties of polymeric membranes by merging the membranes with different inorganic materials. These so-called composite membranes have been implemented in different membrane-based technologies (e.g., microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, membrane bioreactors, among others) for water treatment and disinfection. This is because such inorganic materials (such as TiO2
-, ZnO-, Ag-, and Cu-based nanoparticles, carbon-based materials, to mention just a few) can improve the separation performance of membranes and also some other properties, such as antifouling, mechanical, thermal, and physical and chemical stability. Moreover, such materials display specific biological activity towards viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, showing enhanced water disinfection properties. Therefore, the aim of this review is to collect the latest advances (in the last five years) in using composite membranes and new hybrid materials for water disinfection, paying particular emphasis on relevant results and new hydride composites together with their preparation protocols. Moreover, this review addresses the main mechanism of action of different conventional and novel inorganic materials toward biologically active matter.
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