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Molecules 2017, 22(5), 704; doi:10.3390/molecules22050704

Electrochemical Enhancement of Photocatalytic Disinfection on Aligned TiO2 and Nitrogen Doped TiO2 Nanotubes

1
Department of Chemical and Environmental Technology, ESCET, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, c/Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
2
Nanotechnology and Integrated BioEngineering Centre (NIBEC), Ulster University, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland, UK
3
Environmental Engineering and Science program, University of Cincinnati, 705 Engineering Research Center, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pierre Pichat
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 26 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photon-involving Purification of Water and Air)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1841 KB, uploaded 28 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

TiO2 photocatalysis is considered as an alternative to conventional disinfection processes for the inactivation of waterborne microorganisms. The efficiency of photocatalysis is limited by charge carrier recombination rates. When the photocatalyst is immobilized on an electrically conducting support, one may assist charge separation by the application of an external electrical bias. The aim of this work was to study electrochemically assisted photocatalysis with nitrogen doped titania photoanodes under visible and UV-visible irradiation for the inactivation of Escherichia coli. Aligned TiO2 nanotubes were synthesized (TiO2-NT) by anodizing Ti foil. Nanoparticulate titania films were made on Ti foil by electrophoretic coating (P25 TiO2). N-doped titania nanotubes and N,F co-doped titania films were also prepared with the aim of extending the active spectrum into the visible. Electrochemically assisted photocatalysis gave higher disinfection efficiency in comparison to photocatalysis (electrode at open circuit) for all materials tested. It is proposed that electrostatic attraction of negatively charged bacteria to the positively biased photoanodes leads to the enhancement observed. The N-doped TiO2 nanotube electrode gave the most efficient electrochemically assisted photocatalytic inactivation of bacteria under UV-Vis irradiation but no inactivation of bacteria was observed under visible only irradiation. The visible light photocurrent was only a fraction (2%) of the UV response. View Full-Text
Keywords: titania nanotubes; nitrogen-doped nanotubes; photoelectrocatalysis; E. coli; visible light titania nanotubes; nitrogen-doped nanotubes; photoelectrocatalysis; E. coli; visible light
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pablos, C.; Marugán, J.; van Grieken, R.; Dunlop, P.S.M.; Hamilton, J.W.J.; Dionysiou, D.D.; Byrne, J.A. Electrochemical Enhancement of Photocatalytic Disinfection on Aligned TiO2 and Nitrogen Doped TiO2 Nanotubes. Molecules 2017, 22, 704.

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