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 JWARP  Vol.11 No.10 , October 2019
Visible-Light-Active Noble-Metal Photocatalysts for Water Disinfection: A Review
Abstract: The sanitary and environmental challenges posed by an ever growing economically and geographically diverse human population include the need for sustainable, inexpensive, scalable, and decentralized water treatment technologies that can supplement or replace conventional treatment methods. These challenges can be met by semiconductor photocatalysis, especially if the process is driven by visible light energy. Visible-light active (VLA) photocatalysis, as opposed to traditional energy-intensive and chemically driven disinfection methods such as ozonation, UV irradiation and chlorination, has the potential for achieving high disinfection efficiency with low energy consumption and no harmful by-products. This technology generates in-situ reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as H2O2, and , without the need for chemicals addition. In turn, ROS are capable of penetrating cell walls and membranes of microorganisms, effectively inactivating them. Although multiple types of VLA photocatalysts have been used experimentally for disinfection of water, noble-metal-based photocatalysts have gained the most interest due to their surface plasma resonance (SPR) effect, which acts synergistically to increase the disinfection potential of the photocatalytic process. This paper is a review of the different types of noble-metal-based VLA photocatalysts used for water disinfection in different experimental settings, their synthesis procedures and disinfection mechanisms. It also discusses innovative approaches to overcome a major hurdle in photocatalysis, that is, the rapid recombination of the electron and hole pair, by including specific dopants into the structure of the photocatalyst.
Cite this paper: Upadhyaya, A. and Rincón, G. (2019) Visible-Light-Active Noble-Metal Photocatalysts for Water Disinfection: A Review. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 11, 1207-1232. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2019.1110070.
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