Increased concentrations of natural organic matter (NOM), a complex mixture of organic substances found in most surface waters, have recently emerged as a substantial environmental issue. NOM has a significant variety of molecular and chemical properties, which in combination with its varying concentrations both geographically and seasonally, introduce the opportunity for an array of interactions with the environment. Due to an observable increase in amounts of NOM in water treatment supply sources, an improved effort to remove naturally-occurring organics from drinking water supplies, as well as from municipal wastewater effluents, is required to continue the development of highly efficient and versatile water treatment technologies. Photocatalysis has received increasing interest from around the world, especially during the last decade, as several investigated processes have been regularly reported to be amongst the best performing water treatment technologies to remove NOM from drinking water supplies and mitigate the formation of disinfection by products. Consequently, this overview highlights recent research and developments on the application of photocatalysis to degrade NOM by means of TiO2
-based heterogeneous and homogeneous photocatalysts. Analytical techniques to quantify NOM in water and hybrid photocatalytic processes are also reviewed and discussed.
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