(146b) Fabrication of Catalytic Water Treatment Membranes with Phosphorene-Based Pore Fillers

Escobar, I., University of Kentucky
Eke, J., University of Kentucky
Mills, P., University of Kentucky
Photocatalytic membrane processes generate oxygen-reactive radicals under irradiation by light that could degrade pollutants in feed solutions and reduce fouling. Phosphorene is a two-dimensional material made by exfoliating black phosphorus, a monotypic van der Waals crystal. Unlike other common two-dimensional materials, under light irradiation, phosphorene can generate reactive oxygen species (singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals and superoxide radicals). Therefore, it shows promise as a photocatalyst. The goal of this study was to incorporate phosphorene into membranes made from a polymer blend of sulfonated poly ether ether ketone and polysulfone, then test these membranes in different media to examine their stability in various environment and study the method of adhesion of the nanomaterial in the membrane. In this research, phosphorene was first fabricated by the liquid exfoliation of black phosphorus. Experiments were done in an acidic, basic, neutral and in a common solvent media. Various membranes that composed of different wt.% of phosphorene were casted and the rate of leaching of the phosphorene nanoparticle was studied. Results obtained showed enhanced flux recovery for the phosphorene modified membranes. Fluorescent studies also revealed lower coverage of methylene blue on these membranes as compared to the unmodified membranes. Mechanism of photocatalysis will be investigated and reaction equations proposed.