Date published:

A pioneering water purification photocatalytic reactor - a research project by AMU scientists

The prestigious Chemical Engineering Journal has published a study co-authored by scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry at the AMU: Adam Kubiak, PhD, Prof. Marcin Frankowski and Michał Cegłowski, PhD, Prof. UAM.

"Over the last few years, pharmaceutics have started to represent one of the leading groups of pollutants in the aquatic environment. Several processes are used for their removal, including, among others, adsorption, photocatalysis or membrane techniques. However, each of these techniques has its limitations. Therefore, in the following research, we chose to deliver a cutting-edge photoreactor, allowing us to eliminate several drawbacks of photooxidation processes.

First of all, we fabricated a TiO2-carbon fibre photocatalyst, which, thanks to its unique three-dimensional structure, enabled not only easy separation after the photocatalytic process but also improved the interface between the photocatalyst and the degraded pollutant sulfamethoxazole. However, a fundamental element of the study was the design of a tailored LED light source fitting into the absorption spectrum of the photocatalyst. This parallel approach to the growth of the photocatalyst and the light source allowed us to achieve increased efficiency in the subtraction of sulfamethoxazole for up to five consecutive catalytic cycles. Significantly, our solution was characterised by low energy consumption, which is extremely important, bearing in mind the principles of sustainability."

Link to publication: "The development of novel tailor-made photocatalytic reactor for sulfamethoxazole removal: Understanding mechanism and degradation pathway".