Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 21, pp 20348–20353 | Cite as

Micro-sized TiO2 as photoactive catalyst coated on industrial porcelain grès tiles to photodegrade drugs in water

  • Claudia L. Bianchi
  • Benedetta Sacchi
  • Sofia Capelli
  • Carlo Pirola
  • Giuseppina Cerrato
  • Sara Morandi
  • Valentino Capucci
Water: From Pollution to Purification


Pharmaceutical compounds and their metabolites raise worrying questions because of their continuous release and lack of efficient removal by conventional wastewater treatments; therefore, they are being detected in groundwater, surface water and drinking water in increasing concentrations. Paracetamol and aspirin are two of the most commonly used drugs employed as fever reducer, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. They and their metabolites are very often found in river water, so their degradation is necessary in order to render water suitable for human consumption. The present work is focused on the comparison of the photocatalytic performance of industrial active grés porcelain tiles covered with a commercial micro-sized TiO2 by industrial process using either conventional spray deposition or innovative digital printing methods. The photodegradation of two commonly used drugs, namely aspirin and paracetamol, was investigated both individually and as a mixture, in both deionized and tap water. The results reveal the full conversion of the drugs and the significant role of the photocatalytic tiles in the mineralization processes leading to harmless inorganic species. In particular, the digitally printed tiles exhibited better photodegradation performance for both drugs compared to the spray deposited tiles. No deactivation was observed on both photocatalytic tiles.


Digital printing deposition Pharmaceutical compounds Photoactive tile Titanium dioxide Water remediation 



We acknowledge financial support from EU LIFE Projects, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance (LIFE+ DIGITALIFE, n. LIFE13 ENV/IT/00140).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Consorzio INSTMFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Chimica & NIS, Inter-departmental CentreUniversità degli Studi di TorinoTorinoItaly
  4. 4.GranitiFiandre SpACastellaranoItaly

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