Recent advances in photocatalysis for environmental applications

Ciara Byrne, Gokulakrishnan Subramanian, Suresh C. Pillai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

532 Citations (Scopus)


Advanced Oxidation technologies (AOTs) are gaining attention as an effective waste water treatment methodology capable of degrading diverse spectrum of recalcitrant organic contaminants and microbes. Undoubtedly, photocatalysis is a promising AOT to alleviate the problem of water pollution. Despite recent research into other photocatalysts (e.g. ZnO, ZnS, Semiconductor-Graphene composites, perovskites, MoS2, WO3 and Fe2O3), titanium dioxide (TiO2) remains the most popular photocatalyst due to its low cost, nontoxicity and high oxidising ability. Moreover, titania photocatalysts can easily be immobilized on various surfaces and be scaled up for large scale water treatment. The current review aims to highlight recent advancements in photocatalytic AOTs with main emphasis on TiO2 photocatalysis. This review also discusses the use of TiO2 photocatalysis for water and waste treatment, treating contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), pesticides, endocrine disrupters (EDs) and bacteria using both UV and visible light irradiations. It was concluded that with efficient photoreactor configuration and further studies on the photocatalyst regeneration, TiO2 photocatalysis is a viable option for the reclamation of agricultural/irrigational waste water. Novel doped photocatalysts such as ZnS-CuS-CdS, carbon spheres/CdS, g-C3N4-Au-CdS, ZnS-WS2-CdS, C3N4-CdS and Pd-Cr2O3-CdS have also been discussed. Finally, the advances in the actively studied metal organic framework based photocatalysts that are emerging as effective alternate for metal oxide based photocatalysts is also discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3531-3555
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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