Jihong Yu, Jilin University, China, and colleagues suggest that conventional inorganic water filtration systems are not as robust as they might be. Therefore, they have turned to flexible SiO2–TiO2 composite porous nanofibrous membranes fabricated by an electrospinning technique for removing organic molecules from contaminated water efficiently.
They suggest that the system could be used to clean up wastewater from industrial manufacturing processes, agricultural irrigation, filtering out potentially harmful organic molecules including dyestuffs, pesticide residues, plasticizers, and others. The team says their approach to making such a filter will mean it should be low cost and recyclable. They have tested the composite membrane for adsorption capacity and permeability with water spiked with the dye methylene blue.
The team says its hierarchical porous structure and ultrafast wettability make it effective and energy efficient. They add that it can easily be restored to near-pristine condition by calcinations.
- Flexible inorganic nanofibrous membranes with hierarchical porosity for efficient water purification,
Qiang Wen, Jiancheng Di, Yong Zhao, Yang Wang, Lei Jiang, Jihong Yu,
Chem. Sci. 2013.