Araneose Ti3+ self-doping TiO2/SiO2 nanowires membrane for removal of aqueous MB under visible light irradiation

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Araneose Ti3+ self-doped TiO2/SiO2 nanowires (RTiO2/SiO2) were prepared and anchored onto a polyethersulfone (PES) membrane. Careful characterizations and measurements indicated a covalent grafting of SiO2 onto reduced TiO2 (RTiO2) through Ti–O–Si linkages, acquiring uniformed RTiO2/SiO2 nanowires of almost complete anatase and benign hydrophilicity. The RTiO2/SiO2-based PES membrane showed a significantly enhanced visible light–driven degradation rate of methylene blue (MB) (90.7%), compared with that on bare PES (11.1%) and PES-RTiO2 (59.6%) membranes. The residual MB in filtered water was less than 5% after reusing three times. The normalized permeate flux of the modified membrane was 0.83, and the transmembrane pressure only increased by 0.4 MPa under irradiation of visible light. The improved performance of the PES-RTiO2/SiO2 was attributed to efficient intercept of MB molecular, light harvesting of visible light, and separation of charge carriers on araneose RTiO2/SiO2 nanowires.

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Correspondence to Hanpei Yang or Wei Li.

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• Araneose Ti3+ self-doping TiO2 nanowires were successfully fabricated with SiO2 through a Ti-O-Si linkage between TiO2 and SiO2.

• Phase of brookite TiO2 was inhibited and almost complete anatase was acquired in reduction of TiO2.

• The high membrane flux and removal rate of methylene blue (MB) were achieved.

• A synergy in intercept of MB, light harvesting, charge separation for enhancement of anti-fouling performance was proposed.

Responsible editor: Suresh Pillai

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Gao, Z., Yang, H., Mao, J. et al. Araneose Ti3+ self-doping TiO2/SiO2 nanowires membrane for removal of aqueous MB under visible light irradiation. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020) doi:10.1007/s11356-019-07567-9

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  • Reduced TiO2
  • SiO2
  • Araneose nanowires
  • Membrane
  • Anti-fouling
  • Decontamination