Grantee Research Project Results
Microwave-Catalytic Membrane for PFAS Degradation and Antiviral ApplicationsEPA Grant Number: SV840419
Title: Microwave-Catalytic Membrane for PFAS Degradation and Antiviral Applications
Investigators: Zhang, Wen
Institution: New Jersey Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Page, Angela
Project Period: August 1, 2022 through July 31, 2024
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: 17th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2022) Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards
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.
This project will synthesize a suite of V2O5/Co3O4@rGO nanocomposites in different mass ratios and thoroughly characterize their physicochemical properties with SEM, BET, FTIR, XRD, XPS and microwave network analysis to delineate the dependence of microwave absorbance, catalytic activity and elemental compositions or ratios and establish the structure reactivity relationships. Particularly, the microwave network analyzer will reveal the key parameters of electromagnetic adsorption, such as permittivity, permeability, reflective loss (RL), will aid in the selection and utilization of proper catalyst synthesis and guide the modeling simulation of microwave penetration via COMSOL Multiphysics simulation. Lastly, the model virus (e.g., a bacteriophage, MS2) could be used to assess microwave catalytic membrane filtration disinfection, which has not yet been reported in the past.
Microwave assisted membrane filtration system coated with novel V2O5/Co3O4@rGO nanoparticles will contribute to efficient and energy-saving persistent pollutant degradation and virus inactivation and support EPA’s research priorities in safe and sustainable water resources. Firstly, the project leads to integrated and scalable engineered processes of microwave assisted membrane filtration to tackle the challenges from trace-level, small-molecular sized or recalcitrant organic pollutants and viruses in impaired water bodies. The results will not only provide guidelines as to the rational design of microwave assisted membrane filtration system, but also leads to an avenue for the transformative and sustainable applications in water treatment and purification. Secondly, the project research will be translated into new teaching modules, laboratory manuals, innovative learning activities, and professional development activities targeted at a diverse student population. Interdisciplinary research training and educational activities will be offered to diverse student groups in collaborations with industrial partners such as Sterlitech.
Supplemental Keywords:Microwave catalysis, reactive membrane filtration, viral inactivation, water disinfection
Progress and Final Reports:
P3 Phase I:Microwave-Catalytic Membrane for PFAS Degradation | Final Report
The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.