Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-09-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $12,627 Total Non-Federal Funds: $34,829
Principal Investigators: Chin-pao Huang
Abstract: The rapid deterioration of water quality worldwide due mainly to manufacturing and synthesis of chemicals for various uses is a great global concern. The combined changes in hydrological cycle, due to climate changes, and rapid industrial growth have caused an ever-increasing influx of chemicals into the water environment. Among them, there is a rising concern about the occurrence and persistence of active substances such as pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in the aquatic environment. Most of these PPCPs are recalcitrant and cannot be easily removed from wastewaters in sewage treatment. In order to deal with the ever escalating problem of water quality deterioration, technology, especially green one, is needed to battle the recalcitrant contaminants in water, i.e., secondary or tertiary effluents. This proposed research is to advance a sustainable technology for improving the quality of impaired waters. The proposed research will study photoelectrochemical (PEC) process using newly synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles in thin film. The new photocatalysts will be sensitive to visible light while expressing a high photoefficiency. The PEC approach will allow the instantaneous separation of electrons and holes generated photocatalytically and enable the holes to oxidize hazardous organic compounds, namely selected PPCPs and the electrons will be used to chemically reduce a different group of organic contaminants, mostly nitro-aromatics, halo-aromatics, and halo-aliphatics that are difficult to be oxidizedb y hydroxyl radical. The technology is powered by solar energy only and does not consume additional chemicals.