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Heterogeneous Photocatalysis: An Emerging Technology for Water Treatment

J. -M. Herrmann, C. Guillard and P. Pichat
URA au CNRS "Photocatalyse, Catalyse Et Environnement" Ecole Centrale de Lyon, BP 163, 69131 Ecully Cédex, France

Abstract: Heterogeneous photocatalysis is capable of destroying many organic micropollutants in aqueous medium. The principle of the method and a brief survey of the relevant literature are presented. On the basis of studies on the degradation of various substituted aromatics in UV-irradiated TiO2 aqueous suspensions carried out principally in our laboratory, we indicate the kinetic characteristics of the method, the nature of the intermediates and the degradation pathways, as well as the influence of pH or common ions and other parameters. The photocatalytic recovery of noble metals and the detoxification of water containing certain inorganic ions are also described. The advantages and disadvantages of the photocatalytic method, which begins to be commercialized, are briefly discussed.