Environmental remediation by photocatalysis

Vinu R, Giridhar Madras


Photocatalysis refers to the oxidation and reduction reactions on semiconductor surfaces, mediated by the valence band holes and conduction band electrons, which are generated by the absorption of ultraviolet or visible light radiation. Photocatalysis is widely being practiced for the degradation and mineralization of hazardous organic compounds to CO2 and H2O, reduction of toxic metal ions to their non-toxic states, deactivation and destruction of water borne microorganisms, decomposition of air pollutants like volatile organic compounds, NOx, CO and NH3, degradation of waste plastics and green synthesis of industrially important chemicals. This review attempts to showcase the well established mechanism of photocatalysis, the use of photocatalysts for water and air pollution control, visible light responsive modified-TiO2 and non-TiO2 based materials for environmental and energy applications, and the importance of developing reaction kinetics for a comprehensive understanding and design of the processes.


Photocatalysis; degradation; dyes; phenols; microorganisms; polymers; kinetics.

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