The water resources globally are facing tremendous pressures due to increased consumption and pollution caused by growing population and industrialization. Thus, the development of advanced treatment technologies is highly required. Technologies using nanomaterials are one of the fast-growing fields creating variety of new commercial nanoparticles. One of the innovative applications of nanomaterials with a great potential involve their usage as water treatment tools. The photocatalytic treatment using nano-TiO2 as a destructive and “zero” waste method for water purification provides a synergy of advanced oxidation technologies and nanomaterials application with a great potential to be commercialized. However, some features of TiO2 photocatalysis, its mechanical and chemical stability, have to be improved to minimize the potential negative implications.
The main goal of NanoWaP project is to develop the sustainable photo-AOT with nanocomposite photocatalysts for the purification of water containing pharmaceuticals. In order to overcome the limitations of nano-TiO2 technologies: agglomeration tendency, post-separation, low activation potential under the sunlight, novel nano-TiO2-based composites with iron-exchanged zeolites and SnS2 will be investigated for degradation of pharmaceuticals in water. The efficiency will be evaluated using an innovative integral approach including: (i) pharmaceuticals removal expressed in a terms of common ecological parameters, (ii) energy consumption per decreased concentration of chosen ecological parameter for one order of magnitude, and (iii) the assessment of adverse environmental effects. Besides, the photocatalysts characterization prior and after the treatment would provide an additional insight in its stability which will be also examined through consecutive runs.
Objective 1: To develop, characterize, and evaluate novel composite materials made of TiO2 nano-particles and iron-exchanged zeolites (Fe-Z) which will be immobilized on appropriate support.
Objective 2: To synthesize, characterize, and evaluate novel composite semiconductor materials made by coupling of nano-TiO2 and other semiconductor material, SnS2, which will be immobilized on appropriate support.
Objective 3: To establish effectiveness of innovative photo-AOTs water treatment using TiO2-Fe-Z and TiO2-SnS2 nanocomposite, to determine reaction pathways of chosen pharmaceuticals degradation by the proposed innovative technology and their interactions with present natural organic matter (NOM) during the treatment, as well as NOM influence on the treatment performance.
Objective 4: To assess and minimize the potential adverse effects of the application of novel TiO2-Fe-Z and TiO2-SnS2 nanocomposites within photo-AOT water treatment.