The present work gives a critical overview of the recent progresses and new perspectives in the field of photocatalytic membranes (PMs) in photocatalytic membrane reactors (PMRs), thus highlighting the main advantages and the still existing limitations for large scale applications in the perspective of a sustainable growth. The classification of the PMRs is mainly based on the location of the photocatalyst with respect to the membranes and distinguished in: (i) PMRs with photocatalyst solubilized or suspended in solution and (ii) PMRs with photocatalyst immobilized in/on a membrane (i.e., a PM). The main factors affecting the two types of PMRs are deeply discussed. A multidisciplinary approach for the progress of research in PMs and PMRs is presented starting from selected case studies. A special attention is dedicated to PMRs employing dispersed TiO2
confined in the reactor by a membrane for wastewater treatment. Moreover, the design and development of efficient photocatalytic membranes by the heterogenization of polyoxometalates in/on polymeric membranes is discussed for applications in environmental friendly advanced oxidation processes and fine chemical synthesis.
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