State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2009NJ191B
Title: A modified photosynthesis process for water purification
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2009
End Date: 2/28/2010
Congressional District: 6
Focus Categories: Water Quality, Treatment, Methods
Principal Investigator: Prakash, Shaurya
Federal Funds: $ 17,500
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 35,000
Abstract: Photocatalysis provides a new pathway for developing better, more efficient, and cost-effective methods for water decontamination. There is growing research in finding new materials and methods for developing visible light photocatalysts for potential use of solar energy for water decontamination applications. One such material, provided to us by nature is chlorophyll. In the absence of quenchers such as carotenoids, visible light interaction with chlorophyll leads to generation of singlet oxygen which is a highly reactive oxygen species. This reactive oxygen species can interact with organic matter to cause oxidation and eventually decontaminate water. The goal of this proposal is to determine and improve the efficacy of using chlorophyll, the most abundant natural pigment, as the next generation photocatalyst for water decontamination. An experimental approach will be used to identify critical parameters required for optimization of chlorophyll use. Furthermore, a model nanofluidic device will be built to overcome challenges related to short lifetime and subsequent diffusion length of singlet oxygen.

Progress/Completion Report, 2009, PDF

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