The microwave-induced acceleration of photocatalytic reactions was discovered serendipitously in the late 1990s. The activity of photocatalysts is enhanced significantly by both microwave radiation and UV light. Particularly relevant, other than as a heat source, was the enigmatic phenomenon of the non-thermal effect(s) of the microwave radiation that facilitated photocatalyzed reactions, as evidenced when examining various model contaminants in aqueous media. Results led to an examination of the possible mechanism(s) of the microwave effect(s). In the present article we contend that the microwaves’ non-thermal effect(s) is an important factor in the enhancement of TiO2
-photoassisted reactions involving the decomposition of organic pollutants in model wastewaters by an integrated (coupled) microwave-/UV-illumination method (UV/MW). Moreover, such coupling of no less than two irradiation methods led to the fabrication and ultimate investigation of microwave discharged electrodeless lamps (MDELs) as optimal light sources; their use is also described. The review focuses on the enhanced activity of photocatalytic reactions when subjected to microwave radiation and concentrates on the authors’ research of the past few years.
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