Photocatalytic degradation of dyes by using a membrane reactor

Leonardo Palmisano, Vittorio Loddo, Fabrizio Pirillo, Falco, Molinari, Michele Falco

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159 Citations (Scopus)


Dyes are organic compounds used in textile, food and drug industries, and their abatement represents one of the main problems in the treatment processes because generally they are very stable toxic compounds. In this work, two commercial azo-dyes, i.e. Congo Red (C32H22N6Na2O6S2) and Patent Blue (C27H31N2NaO6S2), in aqueous solution were degraded in a photocatalytic membrane reactor by using TiO2 Degussa P25 as the catalyst. Different system configurations and irradiating sources were studied, and the influence of some operational parameters such as the pressure in the membrane cell and the initial concentration of the substrates was determined. A comparison between suspended and entrapped TiO2 was also done. The experimental results showed a satisfactory degradation efficiency of the photocatalytic membrane process. The influence of various parameters (e.g. feed concentration, recirculation rate) has been discussed to obtain high reaction rates, operating stability and high membrane rejection, both for substrates and by-products. Congo Red was photodegraded with higher rate under the same experimental conditions probably due to its higher adsorption onto the catalyst surface. It was possible to treat successfully highly concentrated solutions (500 mg/L) of both dyes by means of a continuous process obtaining good values of permeate fluxes (30–70 L/m2 h); this could be interesting for industrial applications. The reactor containing the suspended photocatalyst was significantly more efficient than the reactor containing the catalyst entrapped into the membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1114
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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