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Functionalized membranes for free radical formation

Research Achievements

Functionalized membranes for free radical formation

IGERT investigators have developed unique functionalized membranes for free radical formation at interfaces. The generation of the highly reactive free radical production is achieved via the reaction of iron ions with hydrogen peroxide. A bioactive polymeric layer containing an immobilized enzyme, glucose oxidase can be used to produce hydrogen peroxide from a readily available substrate, glucose. This membrane and a functionalized membrane containing immobilized iron ions create a potential interface to form free radicals. By convectively passing hydrogen peroxide through the membrane, they are able to generate hydroxyl radicals which can be used for various purposes, including oxidation of unwanted organics. Through variation of the residence time, free radical formation can be controlled by using the membrane pores as nanoreactors. They have observed an increased reaction rate for these iron-immobilized systems compared to conventional homogeneous phase reactions.