H2-Based Membrane Catalyst-Film Reactor (H2-MCfR) Loaded with Palladium for Removing Oxidized Contaminants in Water

Dandan Zhou, Yi Hao Luo, Chen Wei Zheng, Min Long, Xiangxing Long, Yuqiang Bi, Xiong Zheng, Chen Zhou, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Scalable applications of precious-metal catalysts for water treatment face obstacles in H2-transfer efficiency and catalyst stability during continuous operation. Here, we introduce a H2-based membrane catalyst-film reactor (H2-MCfR), which enables in situ reduction and immobilization of a film of heterogeneous Pd0 catalysts that are stably anchored on the exterior of a nonporous H2-transfer membrane under ambient conditions. In situ immobilization had >95% yield of Pd0 in controllable forms, from isolated single atoms to moderately agglomerated nanoparticles (averaging 3-4 nm). A series of batch tests documented rapid Pd-catalyzed reduction of a wide spectrum of oxyanions (nonmetal and metal) and organics (e.g., industrial raw materials, solvents, refrigerants, and explosives) at room temperature, owing to accurately controlled H2 supply on demand. Reduction kinetics and selectivity were readily controlled through the Pd0 loading on the membranes, H2 pressure, and pH. A 45-day continuous treatment of trichloroethene (TCE)-contaminated water documented removal fluxes up to 120 mg-TCE/m2/d with over 90% selectivity to ethane and minimal (<1.5%) catalyst leaching or deactivation. The results support that the H2-MCfR is a potentially sustainable and reliable catalytic platform for reducing oxidized water contaminants: simple synthesis of an active and versatile catalyst that has long-term stability during continuous operation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7082-7093
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 18 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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