"Petru Poni"
Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry

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Novel nanostructured composite-membranes for enhancement of photocatalytic processes in water purification
Project status: Ongoing
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CleanH2O project goal is to obtain new hybrid materials based on doped TiO2/graphene reinforced in polymer fibers (like polyvinylidene fluoride PVDF and polysulfone PSU, etc) for photocatalytic UV-VIS active membranes. From a detailed investigation of the literature, a new idea is to use graphene or graphene oxide as compounds for new UV-VIS active photocatalytic TiO2 based composite materials. These carbon–based materials are now becoming inexpensive and their presence in the composites do not significantly disturb the fiber diameter and shape, but improve the hydrophilicity and chemical stability. Embedding TiO2 and graphenes into polymer matrix for water purification can result in additional advantages, including better permeability, selectivity, antifouling properties and enhanced photocatalytic activity. To ensure the best results, the work will be divided into 4 work packages which follow some specific objectives: preparation of new hybrid doped TiO2/polymer nanostructured materials by electrospinning technique; inclusion of graphene in new composite materials developed with the aim of increasing strength and photocatalytic activity; design of experiments, data-driven modeling and optimization of the photodegradation process using new developed materials. The achievements of the proposed research objectives involve state of the art scientific research, which will be used for publications and presentations in conferences, and economical/social issues, since the expected results could lead to low cost TiO2/graphene/polymer composite materials with suitable mechanical properties for the photodegradation of the persistent organic pollutants from aqueous solutions. In addition, the project will open new perspectives for future laboratory research and improvement of water purification and environmental protection technologies.

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