Nitrogen-doped TiO2 nanostructured membranes

A project study aimed at developing a photocatalytic water-treatment process that harnesses UVA and visible (VIS) solar wavelengths to disinfect water and break down organic pollutants. First, the impact of water quality on the physical and operational parameters of the solar-activated N-doped TiO2 catalyst thin film coated on glass was demonstrated. A sol-gel method was then developed to deposit photocatalytically active thin films of N-doped TiO2 on commercial porous α-Al2O3 ceramic membranes. This study has already advanced current knowledge by presenting an optimal low-cost and promising technology that integrates water filtration and oxidation using coated ceramic membranes in a simple treatment unit. Water flow through the photocatalytic membrane resulted in significantly higher reaction rates compared to flow on top of the membrane. In addition, N-doped TiO2-coated membranes showed enhanced activity for the UV-VIS wavelengths compared to TiO2-coated membranes. We are currently investigating the impact of this technology on inactivation of various bacteriophages and fluorescently tagged viruses, and are using additional catalysts and porous supports.

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