The increasing contamination of water with substances from industrial and natural sources is expected to become one of the key environmental problems in the coming decades. Such compounds are present in surface water, groundwater, drinking water and waste water at low but increasing concentrations. Due to their low level of concentration, which is typically in the lower lg L-1 to the ng L-1 range, these substances are called micropollutants. They show considerable toxic or otherwise negative effects even at concentrations in the ppt or ppb level.
Adsorption experiments with Bisphenol showed that particle-loaded membranes have a higher adsorption capacity in comparison to the blank membranes. In addition, it was demonstrated that the membranes are completely regenerated by a pH shift and therefore can be used multiple times. The prepared membranes show a flux rate as microfiltration membranes and have the capability to selectively adsorb substances with different physico-chemical properties like bisphenol A and penicillin G (potassium salt) in one step. This concept allows the creation of membrane adsorbers with improved or completely new selectivities by embedding various kinds of polymer nanospheres with different chemical affinities into certain substance classes in one membrane.
This concept will be further advanced and will be combined with an additional coating of the porous structure of the membrane to come to an improved flexibility and an increased selectivity. This will be done in the project POLINOM funded by BMBF.