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Environmental Research
Vol. 154, 2017, Pages: 296–303

TiO2-based photocatalytic disinfection of microbes in aqueous media: A review

P.Venkata Laxma Reddy, Beluri Kavitha, Police Anil Kumar Reddy, Ki-Hyun Kim

Program in Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Texas El Paso, El Paso, TX 799038, USA.


The TiO2 based photocatalyst has great potential for the disinfection/inactivation of harmful pathogens (such as E.coli in aqueous media) along with its well-known usefulness on various chemical pollutants. The disinfection property of TiO2 is primarily attributed to surface generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as free metal ions formation. Furthermore, its disinfection capacity and overall performance can be significantly improved through modifications of the TiO2 material. In this review, we provide a brief survey on the effect of various TiO2 materials in the disinfection of a wide range of environmentally harmful microbial pathogens (e.g., bacteria, fungi, algae, and viruses) in aqueous media. The influencing factors (such as reactor design, water chemistry, and TiO2 modifications) of such processes are discussed along with the mechanisms of such disinfection. It is believed that the combined application of disinfection and decontamination will greatly enhance the utilization of TiO2 photocatalyst as a potential alternative to conventional methods of water purification.

Keywords: TiO2; Photocatalysis; Water disinfection; E.coli.

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