Membrane-based nanoconfined heterogeneous catalysis for water purification: A critical review✰

Quang Viet Ly, Lele Cui, Waris Khan, Long D Nghiem, Yuhoon Hwang, Zhenghua Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Progress in heterogeneous advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) is hampered by several issues including mass transfer limitation, limited diffusion of short-lived reactive oxygen species (ROS), aggregation of nanocatalysts, and loss of nanocatalysts to treated water. These issues have been addressed in recent studies by executing the heterogeneous AOPs in confinement, especially in the nanopores of catalytic membranes. Under nanoconfinement (preferably at the length of less than 25 nm), the oxidant-nanocatalyst interaction, ROS-micropollutant interaction and diffusion of ROS have been observed to significantly improve, which results in enhanced ROS yield and mass transfer, improved reaction kinetics and reduced matrix effect as compared to conventional heterogenous AOP configuration. Given the significance of nanoconfinement effect, this study presents a critical review of the current status of membrane-based nanoconfined heterogeneous catalysis system for the first time. A succinct overview of the nanoconfinement concept in the context of membrane-based nanofluidic platforms is provided to elucidate the theoretical and experimental findings related to reaction kinetics, reaction mechanisms and molecule transport in membrane-based nanoconfined AOPs vs. conventional AOPs. In addition, strategies to construct membrane-based nanoconfined catalytic systems are explained along with conflicting arguments/opinions, which provides critical information on the viability of these strategies and future research directions. To show the desirability and applicability of membrane-based nanoconfined catalysis systems, performance governing factors including operating conditions and water matrix effect are particularly focused. Finally, this review presents a systematic account of the opportunities and technological constraints in the development of membrane-based nanoconfined catalytic platform to realize effective micropollutant elimination in water treatment.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119577
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - Jan 11 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-01-17
Acknowledgements: Financial supports from National Natural Science Foundation of China (52170041), Tsinghua SIGS Start-up Funding (QD2020002N) and Cross-disciplinary Research and Innovation Fund (JC2022006), Key Research and Development Program of Zhejiang Province (2023C03148) and the Committee of Science and Technology Innovation of Shenzhen (JCYJ20190813163401660) are gratefully acknowledged. We are also grateful to the Brain Pool program funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT through the National Research Foundation of Korea (2022H1D3A2A02081766).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Waste Management and Disposal


Dive into the research topics of 'Membrane-based nanoconfined heterogeneous catalysis for water purification: A critical review✰'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this