Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 11399–11409 | Cite as

Continuous efficient removal and inactivation mechanism of E. coli by bismuth-doped SnO2/C electrocatalytic membrane

  • Pengfei Wang
  • Yu Deng
  • Limei Hao
  • Lei Zhao
  • Xinqi Zhang
  • Cheng DengEmail author
  • Hongbin Liu
  • Mengfu ZhuEmail author
Research Article


The Bi-SnO2/C electrocatalytic membrane was fabricated via a simple electrochemical reduction and hydrothermal method. Under the action of electric field, the Sn2+ and Bi3+ were firstly adsorbed and reduced to metallic Sn and Bi on the carbon membrane surface by cathodic reduction reaction, and the Bi-SnO2/C membrane was obtained subsequently through hydrothermal oxidation process. Confirmed by SEM, TEM, XRD, and XPS characterizations, the nano-Bi-SnO2 is homogeneously distributed on the membrane surface and is firmly attached to the carbon membrane via C–O–Sn chemical bond. Through CV, LSV, and EIS electrochemical analysis, the Bi-SnO2/C membrane possesses the higher electrocatalytic activity and stability than carbon membrane. Therefore, the Bi-SnO2/C membrane could continuously efficiently remove and inactivate Escherichia coli in water through flow-through mode. As a result, the sterilization efficiency can reach more than 99.99% under the conditions of cell voltage 4 V, flow rate 1.4 mL/min, and E. coli initial concentration 1.0 × 104 CFU/mL, owing to the synergistic effect of the membrane separation and electrocatalytic oxidation. Moreover, it was found that the oxidation groups of ⋅OH radicals generated by Bi-SnO2/C membrane play the crucial role for bactericidal performance. This work presents a low-cost, highly active, and stable electrocatalytic membrane towards continuous bacterial inactivation, which exhibits promising potential in water disinfection and is beneficial for practical large-scale applications.


Bi-doped SnO2 Electrocatalytic membrane Electrocatalytic activity E. coli inactivation Water treatment 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51878659) and Youth Development Program of Military Medical Technology (No. 19QNP111).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4576_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1504 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceTianjin University of Science and TechnologyTianjinChina
  2. 2.Institute of Medical Support Technology, Academy of Military Science of Chinese PLATianjinChina

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