Highly stable enzymatic membrane for fast treatment of antibiotic-polluted water

Zhengyang Zhao, Yi Feng, Ezzat Shamsaei, Jingchao Song, Huanting Wang, Lizhong He

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The antibiotic water pollution caused by discharge of untreated antibiotic waste water and sewage from animal husbandry is increasingly severe, especially in developing countries. However, current water treatment methods for antibiotic-polluted water are complicated, expensive and time consuming. Here, we have developed a highly effective enzymatic ultrafiltration membrane, which is extremely simple and can degrade antibiotic in a fast manner at a low-cost. Penicillinase, a representative enzyme for antibiotic degradation, was covalently immobilized in bromomethylated poly (2, 6-dimethyl-1, 4-phenylene oxide) (BPPO) ultrafiltration membrane by a simple self-assembling process. The membrane immobilized with penicillinase can thoroughly degrade the antibiotic by a single passing of the polluted water, with a treatment capacity up to 335 L.m−2.h−1. A small piece of membrane (ca. 25 cm2) can provide sufficient clean drinking water for a family (4 people, 10 L per day) overnight. Furthermore, the engineered enzymatic membrane has an attractive stability and reusability for long-term application. We anticipate that our enzymatic membrane will serve as a practical and low-cost solution to antibiotic pollution, in particular for providing antibiotic-free drinking water in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Membrane Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Antibiotic pollution
  • Enzyme immobilization
  • Water treatment
  • Asymmetric polymer membrane
  • High stability

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