Microwave-Catalytic Membrane for PFAS Degradation and Antiviral Applications

Project: Research project

Project Details


Traditional membrane filtration technology suffers from membrane fouling due to cake layer accumulation, concentration polarization or pores clogging by particles, colloids, macromolecules, or organic matters. Moreover, removal of trace-level, small-molecular sized or recalcitrant organic pollutants or microbial pathogens such as virues via membrane filtration is also a long-unresolved challenge. Membrane filtration processes that exhibit robust and stable filtration with antifouling and reaction-enabled functions are urgently needed for efficient water treatment or chemical separation. This project embarks on a novel microwave-assisted membrane filtration process that is designed to improve filtration performance, enhance pollutant degradation and mitigate membrane fouling. Under microwave irradiation, the filtration process may also involve the production of nanobubbles and hydroxyl radicals on membrane surface, where engineered microwave-responsible catalysts are coated. Our EPA P3 phase I research has fabricated the BiFeO3 catalyst and successfully coated the ceramic membrane surface and demonstrate the efficacy of PFOA's degradation during the microwave-assisted membrane filtration. In the EPA P3 phase II research, other novel and high-performance microwave-responsive catalyst will be explored and characterized with electromagnetic vector analysis. By comparing their electromagnetic property index such as Permittivity, Permeability and Reflection Loss (RL), the microwave adsorption performance for different materials will be comprehensive evaluated. In addition, microwave penetration in different medium, such as soil, air and water, as essential index for microwave catalytic treatment technology will be kindly evaluated and optimized with modeling calculation and COMSOL Multiphysics simulation under various microwave frequency/power, irradiation location and membrane scale. Finally, the antivirus activity will be assessed with an indicator virus (Bacteriophage MS2) to further explore the microwave catalytic mechanisms and to support sustainable water disinfection technology development.
Effective start/end date8/1/227/31/24


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: $100,000.00


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