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Detoxification of effluents by photocatalytic science and engineering


Photocatalysis can provide a novel basis for the destruction of a wide range of aqueous pollutants, the technology of which will be competitive with already existing methods of cleaning of
industrial effluents. To date the science of photocatalysis has received widespread attention whereas the development of the technologies for its application to solve environmental problems have been virtually neglected.

While the method proposed will not be capable of dealing with very high levels of contamination by itself, it will possess the capability of handling low/medium levels of contamination, and in conjunction with already extant conventional technologies it will reduce the levels of pollution to much lower values than would be possible otherwise.

The present proposal has the combined objectives of modelling, designing, constructing and testing a small-scale fluidised-bed photocatalytic reactor capable of handling contaminated
industrial effluent at a volume capacity of with the alternative use of either artificial (u.v. lamp) and/or natural (solar) sources of electromagnetic radiation (reactor
engineering). This will be done in conjunction with the
development of photocatalytically active solids possessing
optimum intrinsic activity and physical characteristics that are consistent with the fluido-dynamic requirements of the
reactor (particle engineering/technology).

The proposers bring a wealth of expertise to bear upon each of the distinctive aspects of the problem; namely, the modelling of the photo-reactor, their design, construction and testing, and the development of the photocatalysts.

The technology developed from the project will be easily
transferrable to a pilot or demonstration project operating in a closed-cycle or open-cycle mode by a wide range of industries for which the use of water is essential. The advances made will lead to a safer environment through the reduction of pollution levels and to a reduction in the quantity of effluent by
increasing the number of cycles over which a given quantity of water can be used effectively within manufacturing industry with obvious economic advantages.


University of Bradford
Richmond Road
BD7 1DP Bradford
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

Campus Uam Cantoblanco
28049 Madrid
Viale Delle Scienze
90128 Palermo
University of Bath
United Kingdom
Claverton Down
BA2 7AY Bath