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Photo-electrocatalytic foam membranes for zero liquid discharge degradation of organic pollutants

Grant number: 18/25563-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): April 29, 2019
Effective date (End): April 28, 2020
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Analytical Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Maria Valnice Boldrin
Grantee:Alysson Stefan Martins
Supervisor: Davide Mattia
Host Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Bath, England  
Associated to the scholarship:17/13123-4 - Development of photoelectrocatalytic membranes based on TiO2 and Al2O3 modified and applied in the treatment of organic contaminants and microorganisms in aqueous solution, BP.PD


Contamination of aqueous systems is directly related to the inability of our society to properly manage and treat wastewater from agricultural activities, urban centers and industries. In this context, the use of membrane filtration as way to retain those harmful pollutants have shown good applicability inrapid water treatment. Therefore, a great goal will be to obtain modified membranes to be use simultaneously in filtration/photocatalysis/ photoelectrocatalysis processes contributing to increasing the degradation of macromolecules, inactivation of microorganisms and antifouling problems of membranes. Our postdoctoral proposal aims to construct, characterize and apply filtration membranes with photoelectrocatalytic characteristics in order to develop innovative separation simultaneous to the degradation/disinfection of organic pollutants/microorganisms in water. Membranes based on Al2O3 modified with WO3; Al2O3 anodic membranes coated by CuO and TiO2 nanotubular membranes autodoped with Ti+3 are proposed to be applied in organic pollutants as (i) dye Reactive Red-120, (ii) tannic acid and microorganisms (fungi). In this way, we have prepared membranes of Al2O3 anodic membranes by anodization process and TiO2 nanotubular membranes autodoped with Ti+3 with small modification and the promising results were obtained. However, in the present moment we have some problems to stabilize the obtained membranes and also to get a proper configuration for their application. Therefore, the present proposal aims to develop a new generation of foam membranes, modified with semiconductors ZnO, WO3 and/or other metals oxides for photocatalysis and photoelectrocatalysis and in the simultaneous separation and degradation/disinfection of wastewater. The foams will make of ceramic and metal with and without modification where catalysts and other parameters will be controlled for efficient separation using the laboratory facilities of the Prof. Davide Mattia group that has great skill in the area. Their performance will be tested by using a homemade photoelectrocatalytic reactors equipped with an irradiation source (photocatalysis) and bias potential (photoelectrocatalysis). The characterization of the membranes will be performed by spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electronic microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction and other physical parameters. This collaborative project will consolidate a new line of research started in our group in Brazil comprising the study of specialized membranes able to drive physical removal of the contaminants as well as the oxidation of the organic compounds and inactivation of microorganisms.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MARTINS, ALYSSON STEFAN; GUARALDO, THAIS TASSO; WENK, JANNIS; MATTIA, DAVIDE; BOLDRIN ZANONI, MARIA VALNICE. Nanoporous WO3 grown on a 3D tungsten mesh by electrochemical anodization for enhanced photoelectrocatalytic degradation of tetracycline in a continuous flow reactor. JOURNAL OF ELECTROANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, v. 920, p. 12-pg., . (18/25563-1, 17/13123-4, 14/50945-4)

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