REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0258.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Air pollution; Photocatalysis; Reactors; Wastewater; Water matrix; Scaling up
Online: 9 April 2021 (13:04:11 CEST)
Recently, we have witnessed a booming development of composites and multi-dopant metal oxides to be employed as novel photocatalysts. Yet the practical application of photocatalysis for environmental purposes is still elusive. Concerns about the unknown fate and toxicity of nanoparticles, unsatisfactory performance in real conditions, mass transfer limitations and durability issues have so far discouraged investments in full-scale applications of photocatalysis. Herein, we provide a critical overview of the main challenges that are limiting large-scale application of photocatalysis in air and water/wastewater purification. We then discuss the main approaches reported in the literature to tackle these shortcomings, such as the design of photocatalytic reactors that retain the photocatalyst, the study of degradation of micropollutants in different water matrices, and the development of gas-phase reactors with optimized contact time and irradiation. Furthermore, we provide a critical analysis of research-practice gaps such as treatment of real water and air samples, degradation of pollutants with actual environmental concentrations, photocatalyst deactivation, and cost and environmental life-cycle assessment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0287.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: CO2 reduction; Photoreduction; Titania; Photocatalysis; High pressure photocatalysis
Online: 16 August 2018 (14:04:33 CEST)
The photoreduction of CO2 is an intriguing process, which allows the synthesis of fuels and chemicals. One of the limitations for CO2 photoreduction in the liquid phase is its low solubility in water. This point has been here addressed by designing a fully innovative concept of pressurized photoreactor, allowing operation up to 20 bar and applied to improve the productivity of this very challenging process. The photoreduction of CO2 in the liquid phase was performed using commercial TiO2 (Evonink P25), TiO2 obtained by flame spray pyrolysis (FSP) and gold doped P25 (0.2 wt% Au-P25) in the presence of Na2SO3 as hole scavenger (HS). The different reaction parameters (catalyst concentration, pH and amount of HS) have been addressed. The products in liquid phase were formic acid and formaldehyde. Moreover, for longer reaction time and with total consumption of HS, gas phase products formed (H2 and CO) after accumulation of significant amount of organic compounds in the liquid phase, due to their consecutive photoreforming. Enhanced CO2 solubility in water was achieved by adding a base (pH= 12-14). In basic environment, CO2 formed carbonates which further reduced to formaldehyde and formic acid and consequently formed CO/CO2+H2 in the gas phase through photoreforming. The deposition of small Au nanoparticles (3-5 nm) (NPs) onto TiO2 was found to quantitatively influence the products distribution and increase the selectivity towards gas phase products.