Nano-structured TiON Photo-Catalytic Membranes for Water Treatment

Grant Agreement No 245513-2
EC Grant 2,993,230 €
Project duration 01/07/2010 - 30/06/2013
Coordinator and contact DHI - Gerald Heinicke



More than 1.2 billion people suffer from water scarcity due to a global shortfall of potable water. NATIOMEM proposes to alleviate this by developing novel photocatalytic membranes for treating contaminated surface and waste. The technology will not require electrical power, chemicals or other logistical support, and hence will be suitable for poor areas lacking infrastructure. Membranes are functionalized through different approaches with a photocatalytic material, eg. N-doped TiO2 (TiON). Raw water will be directed through the membrane while it is exposed to solar radiation. The functionalized membranes will be characterized for their morphological, physical, mechanical, chemical, and photocatalytic properties. A pilot plant incorporating these photocatalytic membranes will be designed, and field tested in the Middle East and in Africa. Achieving this result will be a breakthrough in water purification and reclamation technology, advancing far beyond the state of the art with a system which is simple, solar enabled, and chemical free.



  • Developing efficient processes for depositing good quality nanostructured photocatalytic TiON films and electro-spinning TiON fibres.
  • Determining the optimum membrane/coating combination in terms of cost effectiveness and lifetime.
  • Understanding the photocatalytic processes induced by the coated membranes in contaminated water.
  • Determining and understanding the relationship between the photocatalyst preparation technique, deposition or electro-spinning parameters, composition, nanostructure, and performance of the TiON coated-based photocatalytic mem-branes.
  • Developing an optimal process for regenerating the photocatalytic membranes.
  • Developing a pilot water treatment plant based upon the optimised photocatalytic membranes.
  • Validating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of photocatalytic membrane water treatment.



Organisation Country Type of institution Contact
DHI Water & Environment Denmark Gerald Heinicke
University of L’Aquila Italy Luca Lozzu
Tel Aviv University Israel Raymond Leon Boxman
University of Surrey United Kingdom Mark Baker
University of Pierre and Marie Curie France Farzaneh Arefi-Khonsari
Skjølstrup & Grønborg Denmark Ole Grønborg Jensen
Umgeni Water South Africa Rachi Rajagopaul
Kawar Energy Jordan Hanna Zaghloul