Novel photocatalytic PVDF/Nano-TiO2 hollow fibers for environmental remediation
Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) mixed matrix membranes loaded with inorganic TiO2 nanoparticles have received increasing attention in the last few years as self-cleaning membranes for possible application in wastewater treatment and seawater filtration. These novel membranes show increased hydrophilicity, stability and catalytic activity under UV-A irradiation. In this work, PVDF-TiO2 hollow fibers were prepared by employing new strategies for enhancing the stability of the TiO2 dispersion, reducing particle agglomeration and improving their distribution. The spinning conditions for producing ultrafiltration hollow fiber membranes from PVDF material and nano-TiO2 were investigated. Finally, the optimized fibers have been characterized and tested for methylene blue (MB) degradation in water and salty seawater, revealing good permeability, long-term stability under UV-A irradiation, and photo-catalytic activity in both test solutions.