In Situ-Generated Reactive Oxygen Species in Precharged Titania and Tungsten Trioxide Composite Catalyst Membrane Filters: Application to As(III) Oxidation in the Absence of Irradiation


This study demonstrates that in situ-generated reactive oxygen species (ROSs) in prephotocharged TiO₂ and WO₃ (TW) composite particle-embedded inorganic membrane filters oxidize arsenite (As(III)) into arsenate (As(V)) without any auxiliary chemical oxidants under ambient conditions in the dark. TW membrane filters have been charged with UV or simulated sunlight and subsequently transferred to a once-through flow-type system. The charged TW filters can transfer the stored electrons to dissolved O₂, producing ROSs that mediate As(III) oxidation in the dark. Dramatic inhibition of As(V) production with O₂ removal or addition of ROS quenchers indicates an ROS-mediated As(III) oxidation mechanism. Electron paramagnetic spectroscopic analysis has confirmed the formation of the HO₂•/O₂•– pair in the dark. The WO₃ fraction in the TW filter significantly influences the performance of the As(III) oxidation, while As(V) production is enhanced with increasing charging time and solution pH. The As(III) oxidation is terminated when the singly charged TW filter is fully discharged; however, recharging of TW recovers the catalytic activity for As(III) oxidation. The proposed oxidation process using charged TW membrane filters is practical and environmentally benign for the continuous treatment of As(III)-contaminated water during periods of unavailability of sunlight

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