Zoltán Németh, Gergő Péter Szekeres, Mateusz Schabikowski, Krisztina Schrantz, Jacqueline Traber, Wouter Pronk, Klára Hernádi and Thomas Graule


Membrane separation is proved to be a powerful tool for several applications such as wastewater treatment or the elimination of
various microorganisms from drinking water. In this study, the efficiency of inorganic composite-based multi-walled carbon
nanotube (MWCNT) hybrid membranes was investigated in the removal of MS2 bacteriophages from contaminated water.

With this object, multi-walled carbon nanotubes were coated with copper(I) oxide, titanium(IV) oxide and iron(III) oxide nanoparticles, respectively, and their virus removal capability was tested in both batch and flow experiments. Considering the possible pH range of drinking water, the filtration tests were carried out at pH 5.0, 7.5 and 9.0 as well. The extent of MS2 removal strongly depended on the pH values for each composite, which can be due to electrostatic interactions between the membrane and the virus. The most efficient removal (greater than or equal to 99.99%) was obtained with the Cu2O-coated MWCNT membrane in the whole pH range.
The fabricated nanocomposites were characterized by X-ray diffraction, specific surface area measurement, dynamic light scattering, zeta potential measurement, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. This study presents a simple route to design novel and effective nanocomposite-based hybrid membranes for virus removal.