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Comparative Analysis of Aeration and Oscillation in a Suspended Catalyst Photocatalytic Membrane Reactor

Highlights•Oscillation and aeration effects are compared in photocatalytic membrane reactor.•Aeration has small effect on ZnO photocatalytic reaction kinetics.•Oscillation is more energy efficient than aeration for the same surface shear rate.•Aeration rates and surface shear are low due to the adverse effects of high flows.•In presence of oscillation, aeration may not be required for ZnO reactions.AbstractComparative analysis of membrane oscillation and aeration in a photocatalytic membrane reactor is conducted. The investigation involved degradation of methylene blue dye as model pollutant using suspended ZnO photocatalyst and UV illumination. The effect of reactor hydrodynamics and design parameters on the system performance and its relation to the membrane-catalyst retention characteristics is evaluated using flat surface membranes roughed with transverse turbulence promoters (TP). The investigation showed that membrane oscillation is more energy efficient than aeration and can provide higher shear rates and better mixing which decreases both the catalyst agglomeration and deposition on the membrane surface. These, in turn, increase both the suspended catalyst concentration in solution and enhance the membrane flux. Compared to oscillation, achieving high shear rates through aeration is limited due to the adverse effects of high gas flow on photocatalytic reactions. Considering the above together with the small effect of aeration on ZnO photocatalytic kinetics, the need for aeration may be relaxed when using membrane oscillation in a ZnO photocatalytic reactor.

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