A Review of the Mechanisms and Modeling of Photocatalytic Disinfection

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titanium dioxide, water disinfection, solar applications, lipid peroxidation

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This paper is a review of the fundamental disinfection mechanisms of photocatalysis and the models used to fit the disinfection process. Photocatalysis is an attractive technology for water treatment largely due to its potential to utilize solar energy directly and achieve both disinfection and chemical detoxification. Many papers have been published on photocatalytic disinfection, but there is still considerable debate on disinfection mechanisms and a general lack of mechanistic models for the process. The fundamental photocatalytic disinfection mechanisms as they relate to the inactivation of bacteria are comprehensively surveyed here. The process of lipid peroxidation of membrane fatty acids, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids, is gaining momentum in the literature. In recent papers, an increasing number of researchers are paying close attention to the products of lipid peroxidation.

The mathematical models, empirical and mechanistic, used to fit the disinfection process have also been thoroughly reviewed. In this regard, most of the proposed models are empirical in nature and rooted in traditional chemical disinfection principles, which are often not representative of the heterogeneous photocatalytic process. The theoretical development of a mechanistic model for photocatalytic disinfection based on lipid peroxidation is explored with due consideration to the interaction between microbes and photocatalyst particles. The extensive literature on autooxidation of lipids in such fields as biology and medicine is informative to the development of the model.

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Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, v. 98, issues 1-2, p. 27-38