• Catalysis;
  • Environmental applications;
  • Membranes, catalytic;
  • Poly(vinylidene fluorine);
  • Tungsten oxides


A new generation of catalytically active membranes for secondary amine oxidation and phenol degradation has been developed by coupling the advantages of low-temperature plasma-modification processes with surface chemical immobilization reactions of catalysts. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) membranes have been modified with NH3 radiofrequency glow discharges in order to graft amino groups at their surface, providing active sites for stable immobilization of tungsten-based heterogeneous catalysts. Particular attention has been focused on tungstate, WO42–, and decatungstate, W10O324–, which act efficiently as catalysts for the oxidation of secondary amines and as photocatalysts for the degradation of organic pollutants, respectively. Plasma-modified membranes surface-tailored with WO42– have been used in catalytic membrane reactors to activate hydrogen peroxide for oxidizing secondary amines to nitrones; membranes modified with W10O324– have been used for the complete degradation of phenol. The obtained results, in terms of amine–nitrone conversion and phenol degradation, respectively, appear extremely promising; these modified membranes can be considered as a pioneering, successful example of heterogenization of W-based catalysts on plasma-treated membranes.