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Fu, W. and Zhang, W., 2018. Microwave-enhanced membrane filtration for water treatment. Journal of Membrane Science,
Microwave-assisted Antifouling Membrane Filtration Technologies
Membrane fouling and insufficient ability for pollutant removal are two major challenges in the wide industrial applications of membrane filtration technology. In this project, I designed a microwave-enhanced membrane filtration process that uses microwave (MW) irradiated and catalyst-coated ceramic membranes to achieve efficient removal of persistent organic pollutants (i.e., 1,4-dioxane) and significant mitigation of fouling. MW irradiation is selectively absorbed by catalysts and hydrogen peroxide to produce ‘‘hotpots” on membrane surface that promoted generation of radicals and nanobubbles. These active species enhance pollutant degradation and further prevented membrane fouling. In contrast to ultrasound and ultraviolet radiations, MW could efficiently penetrate membrane housing materials and selectively dissipate energy to membrane-impregnated catalyst nanoparticles. This innovative technology could mitigate the membrane fouling as well as enhancing the treatment efficiency of pollutants in the water/wastewater. The MW-assisted membrane filtration processes may open new avenues toward next-generation antifouling and high-efficiency separation techniques.