Reactor Cleans Wastewater and Itself

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 27 January 2011
  • Source / Publisher: Angewandte Chemie International Edition/Wiley-VCH
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Reactor Cleans Wastewater and Itself

Industrial wastewater has become a global issue due to its high concentration of pollutants, in particular organic compounds. Membrane-based purification techniques are flexible and low cost options for treating wastewater. But, membrane fouling and pore blocking limits reliability and prevents their wide-scale application.

Jianxin Li, Tianjin Polytechnic University, China, and co-workers have developed a self-cleaning electrocatalytic membrane reactor. The reactor consists of a TiO2/C conductive membrane which acts as both anode and filter. The cathode is a stainless steel tube which surrounds the membrane. During wastewater treatment, the membrane anode is electrified and reactive intermediates are generated. These indirectly decompose the organic foulants on the membrane surface. Electrochemical decomposition of H2O also generates gas and liquid microflows which reduce concentration polarization and avoid membrane fouling.

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