Environmental Photocatalysis/Photocatalytic Decontamination

  • Swaminathan MeenakshisundaramEmail author
Reference work entry


Water pollution caused by hazardous substances has become a global concern. Textile and dyestuff industries produce large amounts of wastewater containing various dye pollutants. Most azo dyes are nonbiodegradable and their release into the environment poses a major threat to the surrounding ecosystems. Remediation of organic aquatic pollutants by photocatalytic oxidation has proven to be an attractive promising technology among the advanced oxidation processes. Semiconductor photocatalysis is a topic of current interest mainly in view of its potential application in the mineralization of pollutants.

Synthesizing heterostructured nanomaterials of specific morphologies and the development of highly efficient solar/UV active photocatalyst with higher surface area is an urgent and important issue for energy and environmental problems. We had developed more than 70 photocatalysts by (i) doping/codoping semiconductor oxides with metals and nonmetals, (ii) coupling of semiconductor oxides, (iii) supporting semiconductor oxides with surface-active agents, (iv) loading rare earth oxides. Most of these modified catalysts were solar active nanocomposites with significant efficiency in the degradation of toxic chemicals. Application of photocatalysts in the degradation of toxic chemicals and treatment of different industrial wastewater both in bench and pilot scales will be discussed along with a brief outline on photocatalytic decontamination of air.


Water pollution Heterogeneous photocatalysis Semiconductor oxides Pilot scale treatment Air purification Antimicrobial activity 


  1. 1.
    O’Shea Kevin E, Dionysiou DD (2012) Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment. J Phys Chem Lett 3(15):2112–2113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hoffmann RM, Martin TS, Choi W, Bahnemann WD (1995) Environmental applications of semiconductor photocatalysis. Chem Rev 95(1):69–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Muruganandham M, Suri RP, Sillanpaa M, Wu JJ, Ahmmad B, Balachandran S, Swaminathan M (2014) Recent developments in heterogeneous catalyzed environmental remediation processes. J Nanosci Nanotechnol 14(2):1898–1910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pereira L, Alves M (2012) Dyes-environmental impact and remediation. In: Environmental protection strategies for sustainable development. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 111–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Forgacs E, Cserhati T, Oros G (2004) Removal of synthetic dyes from wastewaters: a review. Environ Int 30:953–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jin XC, Liu GQ, Xu ZH, Tao WY (2007) Decolorization of a dye industry effluent by Aspergillus fumigatus XC6. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 74:239–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Solis M, Solis A, Perez HI, Manjarrez N, Flores M (2012) Microbial decolouration of azo dyes: a review. Process Biochem 47:1723–1748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sharma KP, Sharma SP, Singh K, Kumar S, Grover R, Sharma PK (2007) A comparative study on characterization of textile wastewaters (untreated and treated) toxicity by chemical and biological tests. Chemosphere 69:48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R (1988) Senstization to patch test acrylates. Contact Dermatitis 18:10–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Natarajan R, Azerad R, Badet B, Copin E (2005) Microbial cleavage of C-F bond. J Fluor Chem 126:424–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hansen JK, Johnson OH, Eldridge SJ, Buhenhoff LJ, Dick LA (2002) Quantitative characterization of trace levels of PFOS and PFOA in the Tennessee River. Environ Sci Technol 36(8):1681–1685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kannan K, Choi WJ, Iseki N, Senthilkumar K, Kim HD, Masunaga S, Giesy PG (2002) Concentrations of perfluorinated acids in livers of birds from Japan and Korea. Chemosphere 49:225–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Giesy PJ, Kannan K (2002) Perfluorochemical surfactants in the environment these bioaccumulative compounds occur globally, warranting further study. Environ Sci Technol 146A:36–41Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hiyama T (2000) Organofluorine compounds: chemistry and applications. Springer, Berlin, pp 1–23Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rivera-Utrilla J, Sánchez-Polo M, Ferro-García AM, Prados-Joya G, Ocampo-Pérez R (2013) Pharmaceuticals as emerging contaminants and their removal from water. A review. Chemosphere 93(7):1268–1287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Coleman HM, Routledge EJ, Sumpter JP, Eggins BR, Byrne AJ (2004) Rapid loss of estrogenicity of steroid estrogens by UVA photolysis and photocatalysis over an immobilised titanium dioxide catalyst. Water Res 38(14–15):3233–3240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vaiano V, Sacco O, Sannino D, Ciambelli P (2015) Photocatalytic removal of spiramycin from wastewater under visible light with N-doped TiO2 photocatalysts. Chem Eng J 261:3–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wang XK, Wang C, Jiang WQ, Guo WL, Wang JG (2012) Sonochemical synthesis and characterization of Cl-doped TiO2 and its application in the photodegradation of phthalalate ester under visible light irradiation. Chem Eng J 189–190:288–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yu JC, Kwong TY, Luo Q, Cai Z (2006) Photocatalytic oxidation of triclosan. Chemosphere 65:390–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mazille F, Schoettl T, Klamerth N, Malato S, Pulgarin C (2010) Field solar degradation of pesticides and emerging water contaminants mediated by polymer films containing titanium and iron oxide with synergistic heterogeneous photocatalytic activity at neutral pH. Water Res 44(10):3029–3038CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Santiago-Morales J, Gómez MJ, Herrera S, Fernández-Alba AR, García-Calvo E, Rosal R (2012) Oxidative and photochemical processes for the removal of galaxolide and tonalide from wastewater. Water Res 46:4435–4447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bolong N, Ismail AF, Salim MR, Matsuura T (2009) A review of the effects of emerging contaminants in wastewater and options for their removal. Desalination 238:229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sin JC, Lam SM, Mohamed AR, Lee KT (2012) Degrading endocrine disrupting chemicals from wastewater by TiO2 photocatalysis: a review. Int J Photoenergy 2012:1–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fowler PA, Bellingham M, Sinclair KD, Evans NP, Pocar P, Fischer B, Schaedlich K, Schmidt JS, Amezaga MR, Bhattacharya S, Rhind SM, O’Shaughnessy PJ (2012) Impact of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) on female reproductive health. Mol Cell Endocrinol 355:231–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Frontistis Z, Kouramanos M, Moraitis S, Chatzisymeon E, Hapeshi E, Fatta-Kassinos D, Xekoukoulotakis NP, Mantzavinos D (2014) UV and simulated solar photodegradation of 17α-ethynylestradiol in secondary-treated wastewater by hydrogen peroxide or iron addition. Catal Today 252:84–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Fujishima A, Honda K (1972) Electrochemical photolysis of water at a semiconductor electrode. Nature 238:37–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kou J, Lu C, Wang J, Chen Y, Xu Z, Varma RS (2017) Selectivity enhancement in heterogeneous photocatalytic transformations. Chem Rev 117(3):1445–1514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Girish Kumar S, Koteswara Rao KSR (2015) Zinc oxide based photocatalysis: tailoring surface bulk structure and related interfacial charge carrier dynamics for better environmental applications. RSC Adv 5:3306–3351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Girish Kumar S, Gomathi Devi L (2011) Review on modified TiO2 photocatalysis under UV/visible light: selected results and related mechanisms on interfacial charge carrier transfer dynamics. J Phys Chem A 115:13211–13241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Girish Kumar S, Koteswara Rao KSR (2015) Tungsten-based nanomaterials (WO3 & Bi2WO6): modifications related to charge carrier transfer mechanisms and photocatalytic applications. Appl Surf Sci 355:939–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Subramanian S, Noh JS, Schwarz JA (1988) Determination of the point of zero charge of composite oxides. J Catal 114:433–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sobana N, Muruganandham M, Swaminathan M (2006) Nano-Ag particles doped TiO2 for efficient photodegradation of direct azo dyes. J Mol Catal 258:124–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Frank SN, Bard AJ (1997) Heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation of cyanide ion in aqueous solutions at titanium dioxide powder. J Am Chem Soc 99:303–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Malato S, Maldonad M, Fernandez-Ibanez P, Oller I, Polo I, Sanchez-Moreno R (2016) Decontamination and disinfection of water by solar photocatalysis: the pilot plants of the plataforma solar de Almeria. Mater Sci Semicond Process 42(1):15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Goncalves MST, Campos AMFO, Pinto EMMS, Plasencia PMS, Qeiroz MJRP (1999) Photochemical treatment of solutions of azo dyes containing TiO2. Chemosphere 39(5):781–786CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Muruganandham M, Swaminathan M (2006) Photocatalytic decolourisation and degradation of reactive orange 4 by TiO2-UV process. Dyes Pigments 68:133–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Muruganandham M, Shobana N, Swaminathan M (2006) Optimization of solar photocatalytic degradation conditions of reactive yellow 14 azo dye in aqueous TiO2. J Mol Catal A Chem 246:154–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ravichandran L, Selvam K, Krishnakumar B, Swaminathan M (2009) Photovalorisation of pentafluorobenzoic acid with platinum doped TiO2. J Hazard Mater 167:763–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Velmurugan R, Krishnakumar B, Subash B, Swaminathan M (2013) Preparation and characterization of carbon nanoparticles loaded TiO2 and its catalytic activity driven by natural sunlight. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 108:205–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Velmurugan R, Sreedhar B, Swaminathan M (2011) Nanostructured AgBr loaded TiO2: an efficient sunlight active photocatalyst for degradation of reactive red 120. Chem Cent J 5(46):1–9Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Bessekhouad Y, Robert D, Weber JV (2004) Bi2S3/TiO2 and CdS/TiO2 heterojunctions as an available configuration for photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutant. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 163:569–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Girish Kumar S, Gomathi Devi L (2011) Strategies developed on the modification of titania for visible light response with enhanced interfacial charge transfer process: an overview. Cent Eur J Chem 9(6):959–961Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Velmurugan R, Selvam K, Krishnakumar B, Swaminathan M (2011) An efficient reusable and antiphotocorrosive nano ZnO for the mineralization of reactive orange 4 under UV-A light. Sep Purif Technol 80:119–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Selvam NCS, Vijaya JJ, Kennedy LJ (2012) Effects of morphology and Zr doping on structural, optical, and photocatalytic properties of ZnO nanostructures. Ind Eng Chem Res 51:16333–16345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Sobana N, Muruganandham M, Swaminathan M (2007) Characterization of AC-ZnO catalyst and its photocatalytic activity on 4-acetylphenol degradation. Catal Commun 9:262–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Balachandran S, Swaminathan M (2012) Superior photocatalytic activity of bimetallic Cd-Ag-ZnO for the degradation of azo dyes under UV light. Emerg Mater Res 1:157–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Subash B, Krishnakumar B, Velmurugan R, Swaminathan M, Shanthi M (2012) Synthesis of Ce co-doped Ag–ZnO photocatalyst with excellent performance for NBB dye degradation under natural sunlight illumination. Cat Sci Technol 2:2319–2326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Senthilraja A, Subash B, Dhatshanamurthi P, Swaminathan M, Shanthi M (2015) Sn loaded Au-ZnO photocatalyst for the degradation of AR 18 dye under UV-A light. J Ind Eng Chem 33:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Balachandran S, Swaminathan M (2012) Facile fabrication of heterostructured Bi2O3–ZnO photocatalyst and its enhanced photocatalytic activity. J Phys Chem C 116:26306–26312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Thirumalai K, Shanthi M, Swaminathan M (2017) Hydrothermal fabrication of natural sun light active Dy2WO6 doped ZnO and its enhanced photoelectrocatalytic activity and self-cleaning properties. RSC Adv 7:7509–7518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Dhatshanamurthi P, Shanthi M, Swaminathan M (2017) An efficient pilot scale solar treatment method for dye industry effluent using nano- ZnO. J Water Process Eng 16:28–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Velmurugan R, Subash B, Krishnakumar B, Selvam K, Swaminathan M (2016) Solar photocatalytic treatment of gelatin industry effluent: performance of pilot scale reactor with suspended TiO2 and supported TiO2. Indian J Chem Tech 23(2):139–145Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Podporska-Carrolla J, Myles A, Quilty B, McCormacka DE, Fagana R, Hinder SJ, Dionysiou D, Pillai SC (2017) Antibacterial properties of F-doped ZnO visible light photocatalyst. J Hazard Mater 324:39–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Synnotta DW, Seery MK, Hinder SJ, Michlits G, Pillai SC (2013) Anti-bacterial activity of indoor-light activated photocatalyst. Appl Catal B Environ 130–131:106–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Podporska-Carroll J, Panaitescu E, Quilty B, Wang L, Menon L, Pillai SC (2015) Antimicrobial properties of highly efficient photocatalytic TiO2 nanotubes. Appl Catal B Environ 176:70–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemistry Nanomaterials Laboratory, International Research CentreKalasalingam UniversityKrishnan KoilIndia

Personalised recommendations