The concept of the project is based on the development of innovative nanostructured UV-Visible photocatalysts for water treatment and detoxification by using doped TiO2 nanomaterials with visible light response. The project aims at an efficient and viable water detoxification technology exploiting solar energy and recent advances in nano-engineered titania photocatalysts and nanofiltration membranes for the destruction of extremely hazardous compounds in water. To this aim, the UV-vis responding titania nanostructured photocatalysts will be stabilized on nanotubular membranes of controlled pore size and retention efficiency as well as on carbon nanotubes exploiting their high surface area and unique electron transport properties to achieve photocatalytically active nanofiltration membranes. This will be the crucial component for the fabrication of innovative continuous flow photocatalytic-disinfection-membrane reactors for the implementation of a sustainable and cost effective water treatment technology based on nanoengineered materials. Comparative evaluation of the UV-visible and solar light efficiency of the modified titania photocatalysts for water detoxification will be performed on specific target pollutants focused mainly on cyanobacterial toxin MC-LR and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDC) in water supplies as well as classical water pollutants such us phenols, pesticides and azo-dyes. Particular efforts will be devoted on the analysis and quantification of degradation products. The final goal is the scale up of the photocatalytic reactor technology and its application in lakes, tanks and continuous flow systems for public water distribution.
Fields of science
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