Iranian researchers from University of Mohaqeq Ardabili used nanotechnology to produce a photocatalyst which can be used for purification of water.
The photocatalyst was made of non-toxic and eco-friendly materials and can be reused five times in the process. Results of the research can be used in water and wastewater purification industries.
There are two major problems in photocatalytic processes, which limit their applications at industrial scale. Big energy gap in normal photocatalysts prevents them from absorbing the visible light of the sun. Since visible light has more percentage of sunlight than ultraviolet light, the degradation of pollutants by visible light is in priority in comparison with ultraviolet light. The separation of the photocatalyst from the process cycle by filtration and centrifugal devices is the second problem in this method.
The application of the photocatalyst produced in this research is an appropriate option for the elimination of environmental pollutions and for the degradation of organic dyes in water due to its simple application and high activity in the presence of visible light.
Among the advantages of this photocatalyst, mention can be made of the simplicity of the production method, low cost of the raw materials, non-toxicity, and being eco-friendly. Moreover, the photocatalyst can be recycled and reused due to its magnetic properties.
This method has been used to produce the photocatalyst at large scale at low temperature, and it does not require any additives or any preparation process. Therefore, the results of the research can be used in the purification of wastewater of dyeing industry and in the purification of drinking water.
Results of the research have been published in Ceramics International, vol. 41, issue 4, 2015, pp. 5634-5643.