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Publication numberWO1989000985 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberPCT/US1988/002539
Publication date9 Feb 1989
Filing date26 Jul 1988
Priority date27 Jul 1987
Also published asCA1334520C, DE3890597C2
Publication numberPCT/1988/2539, PCT/US/1988/002539, PCT/US/1988/02539, PCT/US/88/002539, PCT/US/88/02539, PCT/US1988/002539, PCT/US1988/02539, PCT/US1988002539, PCT/US198802539, PCT/US88/002539, PCT/US88/02539, PCT/US88002539, PCT/US8802539, WO 1989/000985 A1, WO 1989000985 A1, WO 1989000985A1, WO 8900985 A1, WO 8900985A1, WO-A1-1989000985, WO-A1-8900985, WO1989/000985A1, WO1989000985 A1, WO1989000985A1, WO8900985 A1, WO8900985A1
InventorsMarc A. Anderson, Simonetta Tunesi, Qunyin Xu
ApplicantWisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: Patentscope, Espacenet
Degradation of organic chemicals with titanium ceramic membranes
WO 1989000985 A1
Complex organic molecules, such as polychlorinated biphenyls can be degraded on porous titanium ceramic membranes by photocatalysis under ultraviolet light.
Claims  (OCR text may contain errors)
CLAIMSWhat is claimed is:
1. A method of degrading complex organic molecules comprising the steps of exposing the organic molecules in solution to a ceramic porous membrane of titanium; and irradiating the titanium membrane with ultraviolet light.
2. A method as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the complex organic molecules are polychlorinated biphenyls.
3. A method as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the step of exposing the organic molecules to the membrane includes the molecules in the membrane.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


Cross Reference to Related Application This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. Patent Application S.N. 078,043 filed July 27, 1987.

This invention was made with United States government support awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Grant Number: OIR-8413387 and the Department of Energy, Grant Number: DE-AS07-86-ID12626. The United States Government has certain rights in this invention.

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to the use of ceramic membranes, and, in particular, relates to the reliable and successful use of both particulate and polymeric titanium ceramic membranes and coatings to degrade persistent organic compounds.

Description of the Prior Art Ceramic membranes are used currently in industry and science for a variety of processes and purposes, the most common of which is separations. While organic membranes are most often used for separation processes, ceramic membranes have had increasing popularity because of several advantages which they offer over organic membranes. Ceramic membranes have a greater chemical stability since they are resistant to organic solvents, chlorine, and extremes of pH. Ceramic membranes are also stable at very high temperatures which allows for efficient sterilization of process equipment and pharmaceutical equipment often not possible with organic membranes. Because ceramic membranes are inorganic they are generally quite stable to microbial or biological degradation which can occasionally be a problem with organic membranes. Ceramic membranes are also mechanically very stable even under high pressures. The temperature, chemical, and mechanical stability of ceramic membranes allows them to be cleaned more effectively than other less durable membrane compositions.

The mechanism of operation and types of separations which can be achieved, by ceramic membranes are discussed in general by Asaeda et al., Jour. of Chem. Eng. of Japan, 19:1, 72-77 (1986). At least one line of ceramic filters is currently on the market marketed under the trade name "Ceraflo" by the Norton Company of Worcester, Massachusetts.

While many of these characteristics seem to favor inorganic membranes over organic membranes, the use of these membranes in widespread commercial applications has been slow because of the difficulty in producing crack-free membrane wh.ich have defined pore size and pore size distributions in desirable ranges. Some types of prior art inorganic membranes, such as the ultra-stabilized zirconia membranes made by depositing particles on a silica support are stable but have relatively large pore sizes which make them suitable only for very high molecular weight separations.

Significant effort has been extended in creating metal oxide membranes using aluminium. For example, it has been demonstrated that the use of sol-gel techniques allows the reproducible preparation of alumina ceramic membranes which may be supported or unsupported. LeEnaars et al., Jour. of Membrane Science, 24, 261-270 (1985). By controlling various parameters of the process, it was demonstrated that reliable procedures can be developed for creating alumina ceramic membranes having relatively fine pores and a reliable size distribution of the pores.

The teachings in the art to date about the preparation of titania ceramic membranes have been limited. Most of the sol-gel teachings utilizing titanium have been aimed at preparing very thin particulate films because of their optical and corrosion resistance properties. However, the various parameters necessary for the reproducible and consistent preparation of these or similar films has not previously been rigorously described in such a fashion that they are readily replicable.

It has been recognized for some time that many toxic organic chemicals can be degraded on suspended hydrous oxide particles. Prior research has tended to focus on easy to degrade compounds, such as acetate, and on the use of suspended particles to degrade such compunds. There are, for example, teachings in the prior art of the use of suspensions of titanium dioxide particles for the degradation of complex organic molecules. The use of suspended particles for these processes is a serious limitation, however since solid substrates are clearly more convenient to utilize. However, completely solid substrates do not provide enough surface area for effective catalyzation in reasonable time periods.

Summary of ttie Invention The present invention is summarized in that a process for degrading complex organic molecules including the steps of: positioning a porous titanium ceramic membrane in a liquid solution containing the complex organic molecules and irradiating the membrane in the solution with ultraviolet light. It is an object of the present invention to provide a simple and efficient method of degrading complex organic substances.

Other objects, advantages, and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification.

Detailed Description of the Invention The present invention is directed to the use of membranes of titanium oxides for degradation of organic molecules. There are two variations in methods of preparing titanium membranes. The first variation involves the gellation of a colloidal sol. This first variation utilizes a type of gel that is generally particulate but which can be formed in a coherent bulk if the processing variables are controlled carefully and can result in a consistent and uniform membrane after gellation. The second variation in this method involves the hydrolysis of an organometallic titanium compound to form a soluble intermediate compound which then condenses into the inorganic titanium polymer. Since for catalysis, it is desired that surface area available to the substrate be maximized, a porous or particulate titanium membrane is preferred for the process of the present invention. The process thus includes the preparation of a particulate gel which is then fired to achieve a ceramic material. In this process, there are four distinct variables which must be carefully controlled. The first is the ratio of water to titanium in the colloidal sol so that the gel is properly formed. The ratio is preferably less than about 300:1 mole-to-mole of water to titanium atoms, the second criteria is the proper selection of an alcohol solvent. The alcohol solvent is preferably an alkyl alcohol different from the alkyl radical in the titanium alkoxide used as the starting material. The third consideration is tight pH control of the colloidal mixture. This control on pH limits availability of free protons relative to titanium molecules. The fourth consideration is an upper limit upon the sintering temperatures to which the resultant gels are exposed during firing. Firing temperatures in excess of about 500C may introduce an unacceptable amount of cracking into the resulting ceramic.

The preparation of a particulate titanium membrane begins with a titanium alkoxide. The titanium alkoxide is first hydrolyzed at room temperature. The typical reaction is thus:

TiR4 + 4H2O → Ti(OH)4 + 4R The R radical may be any alkyl, but titanium tetraisopropoxide Ti(iso-OC3H7)4, has been found to be a convenient starting material.

The titanium alkoxide is first dissolved in an organic alcohol. It has been found that the hydrolysis is best facilitated by the use of an alkyl alcohol solvent where the alkyl is different from the alkyl in the titanium alkoxide, for example ethanol with titanium tetraisopropoxide. Water is then added in increments in a total volume of 200-300 times, mole-to-mole, of titanium present. The resulting titanium hydroxide, Ti(OH)4 will precipitate out of solution.

The titanium hydroxide precipitant is then peptized with HNO3, again at room temperature. This step converts the precipitant into a highly dispersed, stable, colloidal solution, or sol. This suspension is maintained by stirring is maintained dispersed over a time period of about 12 hours with moderate heating (85-95C) to assist the colloidal formation. When cooled to room temperature, the colloid gels. The gel may be solidified onto a support, such as glass or optical fiber, or may be deposited in molds or layered into sheets to make self-supporting structures. The gel is then sintered at a firing temperature of no more than about 500C to give a hard dry ceramic. Higher firing temperatures may result in cracking of the membrane. The result will be a highly porous, continuous web of sintered particles forming a rigid membrane.

The resulting titanium ceramic membrane functions as a highly desirable substrate for the photo-catalyzed degradation of organic molecules. The surface of the membranes are highly porous, thereby readily absorbing organic molecules. The titanium molecules are readily available for catalytic activity. The catalysis is actuated by UV light and broad spectrum UV radiation, even sunlight, is usable, although intense artificial UV light may tend to enhance the speed of the degradation.

Example 1 a) Preparation of Particulate Membranes Titanium tetraisopropoxide was obtained from Aldrich Chemical Company. Water used in the reactions was de-ionized using a Milli-Q water purification system from Millipore Corporation.

A series of hydrolysis and particle gel formation experiments were performed using a variety of pH levels and ratio between water concentration and titanium ion concentration. The results are summarized in Table 1 below.

S = Stable

NS = not stable, floccus appearance NP = not peptized completely

*Weight loss from original sol to solid gel, given as a percentage of the original sol weight.

From the above data it is evident that the stable titanium sols can be best achieved if the mole ratio of free hydrogen ions (from the acid) to titanium molecules is between 0.1 and 1.0. This range can be expanded only in relatively dilute sol solutions such as those of Group B on the table. The reason for this is not completely understood but may relate to the increased interparticle distance in the more dilute solutions making aggregation more difficult than in concentrated sols. Only stable sols could be properly then transformed by evaporation into coherent transparent gels and thereafter into coherent oxide membranes by protolysis.

The concentration of the acid was found to effect the gelling volume. The gelling volume goes through a minimum when the acid concentration is about 0.4 moles of free protons per mole of titanium. The sols need to loose at least 4.5% of their original weight, depending upon the electrolyte concentration, to arrive at the gelling point. The sols must loose some additional 97.6% of their original weight in order to form a final solid gel. Heating the final gels in the sintering process results in a further weight loss of about 13.5% without destroying the internal gel structure.

b) Degradation of PCB on TiO2 Supported Membranes To diminish the presence of TiO2 particles in solution due to edge dissolution, the glass supported membrane was previously stirred in distilled water overnight. The 3,4 dichloro biphenyl (3,4-DCB) (0.05 mg from hexane solution) was added to the membrane by letting the solvent evaporate. The membrane was then immersed in 50 ml of Milli-Q distilled water and then put in a cylindrical Pyrex container. The effect of temperature on the degradation of 3,4-DCB adsorbed on TiO2 particles has already been investigated, as disclosed in S. Tunesi, M. Anderson, Photocatalysis of 3.4-DCB in TiO2 aqueous suspension; effects of temperatuare and light intensity; CIR-FTIR interfacial analysis, 16 Chemosphere 7, 1447, (1987), the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. Therefore, a constant temperature of 60C was chosen for the experiments. The temperature was kept constant by immersing the pyrex vessel in a thermostatic water bath. Irradiation was provided with a high intensity UV light source, a Xe-Mg lamp such as an LPS 200 from Photo Technology International. A blank experiment was run in dark conditions. After 5 hours of irradiation the 3,4-DCB was Soxhlet extracted with a (100:100 ml) mixture of hexane/acetone. The particulate was extracted from 5 ml of water with hexane (5 ml x 4). Gas chromatographic analysis was performed to determine the organic concentration, with a Hewlett Packard 5730 gas chromatograph, equipped with an EC detector and a capillary column. The percent degradation was calculated assuming the dark experiment as the zero degradation reference. Observed maximum degradation on the membrane was 93%, while the degradation in water, due to organic absorption on TiO2 particulate, was 75%. The weight recovery of the organic in the dark experiment, with respect to the amount of organic deposited on the membrane, was 37%.

c) Degradation of Salicylic Acid (SALA) and 3-Chlorosalicylic (3 ChS) on Unsupported TiO2 Membranes The photocatalytic degradation of salicylic acid (SALA) was performed in a photochemical reactor which had a cylindrical configuration and in which was placed an unsupported TiO2. The reactor was placed so that the fluid therein circulated around a Hanovia UV-Hg irrigating lamp. The temperature was controlled by a circulating water jacket. A dye filter, 5 x 10-2M in NaVO3 and 5%

NaOH, was circulated between the UV lamp and the suspension to reduce UV transmission at 340 nm to reduce direct organic photodegradation. Previously salicylate solution had been found to exhibit 25% degradation from a starting solution of 25 microMolar, after 4 hours at a temperature of 45C.

The photocatalysis of SALA was performed at a pH=3.7 and a temperature of 29C. The TiO2 membrane had been fired at 375C. 5 milliliters of 20 mM SALA was added to

700 ml of the solution which had had its pH equilibrated overnight. After adding the SALA, the suspension was. equilibrated for one hour, which kinetics experiments had indicated was sufficient time to reach equilibrium. The concentration of SALA in the equilibrium solution was measured, by ultrafiltration with a Nucleopore 0.05 micron membrane, to be 88 x 10-6 M. The solution was then irradiated for 3 hours and 40 minutes, and the concentration of SALA was remeasured and found to be 0.6 x

10-6 M or 0.7% of the initial concentration.

A similar reaction was conducted with 3 chlorosalicylate (3-ChS) in this same reactor type. At 25C after 3 hours the extent of degradation of 3-ChS was found to be about 90% of the initial concentration.

It is understood that the invention is not confined to the particular materials, structures and processes set forth herein as illustrative, but embraces such modified forms thereof as come within the scope of the following claims.

Patent Citations
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Non-Patent Citations
1 *BULLETIN OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION & TOXICOLOGY, Vol. 16, No 6, 1976, JOHN CAREY, "Photodechlorination of PCB's in the Presence of Titanium Dioxide in Aqueous Suspensions", pages 697-701.
Referenced by
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CN100569357C23 Jul 200416 Dec 2009东莞市宇洁新材料有限公司Process for preparing photocatalyst composite material
DE4002437A1 *27 Jan 19901 Aug 1991Man Technologie GmbhCatalytic gas phase decomposition of organic halogen cpds.
EP0499362A1 *20 Jan 199219 Aug 1992Tioxide Group Services LimitedDestruction process for photocatalytically degradable organic material
EP0499363A1 *20 Jan 199219 Aug 1992Tioxide Group Services LimitedDestruction process for photocatalytically degradable organic material
US5137607 *27 Apr 199011 Aug 1992Wisconsin Alumni Research FoundationReactor vessel using metal oxide ceramic membranes
US5308454 *11 Aug 19923 May 1994Wisconsin Alumni Research FoundationReactor process using metal oxide ceramic membranes
US5308458 *27 Jan 19923 May 1994Tioxide Group Services LimitedDestruction process
US5468699 *30 Jul 199221 Nov 1995InradMolecular sieve - photoactive semiconductor membranes and reactions employing the membranes
US5712461 *17 Nov 199527 Jan 1998InradMolecular sieve--photoactive semiconductor membranes and reactions employing the membranes
International ClassificationB01J35/02, A62D101/20, B01J35/04, A62D3/176, B01J16/00, C09K3/00, B01J19/12, A62D101/22, B01J21/06
Cooperative ClassificationA62D2101/20, B01J19/123, B01J16/005, A62D3/176, A62D2101/22
European ClassificationB01J19/12D2, A62D3/176, B01J16/00P
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