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One of the main requirements for a future Hydrogen Economy is a clean and efficient process for producing hydrogen using renewable energy sources. Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier because of its high energy content and clean combustion. In particular, the production of hydrogen from water and solar energy, i.e., photocatalysis and photoelectrolysis, represent methods for both renewable and sustainable energy production. Here, we will present the principles of photocatalysis and the PhotoElectroChemical cell (PEC cell) for water splitting, along with functional materials. Defect chemical aspects will be high-lighted. To date, the decreasing length scale to the nanoscale of the functional materials attracts widespread attention. The nanostructure is beneficial in case diffusion lengths of the photo-generated charge carriers are substantially different.
Photocatalysis process belongs to an advanced oxidation technology for the removal of persistent organic compounds and microorganisms from water. It is the technology with a great potential, a low-cost, environmental friendly and sustainable treatment technology to align with the “zero” waste scheme in the water/wastewater industry. At present, the main technical barriers that impede its full commercialization remained on the post-recovery of the catalyst particles after water treatment. This paper reviews the background of the process and photooxidation mechanisms of the organic pollutants and microorganisms. The review of the latest progresses of engineered-photocatalysts, photo-reactor systems, and the kinetics and modeling associated with the photocatalytic and photodisinfection water and wastewater treatment process, has been presented. A number of potential and commercial photocatalytic reactor configurations are discussed, in particular the photocatalytic membrane reactors. The effects of key photo-reactor operation parameters and water quality on the photoprocess performances in terms of the mineralization and disinfection are assessed.
Beata Zielińska, Joanna Sreńscek-Nazzal and Ryszard Kaleńczuk
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New photocatalyst for decomposition of humic acids in photocatalysis and photo-Fenton processes
Humic acid Leonardite IHSS standard was decomposed on TiO2 and TiO2 modified by FeC2O4 via the photocatalysis and photo-Fenton processes under UV irradiation. Humic acid (HA) were favorable adsorbed on TiO2 surface and followed decomposition during UV irradiation faster on TiO2 than on the modified samples. However, when H2O2 was added to the solution, the photo-Fenton process occurred on the prepared TiO2 samples, contained iron together with photocatalysis and high acceleration of HA decomposition was observed. In this case the mineralization degree was much higher than in the applied photocatalysis only, around 75% HA (with concentration of 18 mg/L) was mineralized after 3 h of adsorption and 5 h of UV irradiation in the presence of H2O2 and modified TiO2 whereas on TiO2 mineralisation of HA occurred in around 45% only. The measured fluorescence spectra of HA solutions showed that in the presence of H2O2 polycyclic aromatics were rapidly oxidized to the lower size products such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and carboxylic acids, what accelerated the process of HA decomposition.