Photocatalytic TiO2-based nanostructures as a promising material for diverse environmental applications: A review

M.-A. Gatou, A. Syrrakou, N. Lagopati, E.A. Pavlatou

Reactions 2024, 5 (1), 135-194

Contemporary technological and industrial advancements have led to increased reliance on chemicals for product innovation, leading to heightened contamination of water sources by traditional pollutants (organic dyes, heavy metals) and disease-causing microorganisms. Wastewater treatment processes now reveal “emerging pollutants”, including pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors, and agricultural chemicals. While some are benign, certain emerging pollutants can harm diverse organisms. Researchers seek cost-effective water purification methods that completely degrade pollutants without generating harmful by-products. Semiconductor-based photocatalytic degradation, particularly using titanium dioxide (TiO2), is popular for addressing water pollution. This study focuses on recent applications of TiO2 nanostructures in photocatalysis for eliminating various water pollutants. Structural modifications, like doping and nanocomposite formation, enhance photocatalyst performance. The study emphasizes photocatalytic elimination mechanisms and comprehensively discusses factors impacting both the mechanism and performance of nano-TiO2-based photocatalysts. Characteristics of TiO2, such as crystal structure and energy band-gap, along with its photocatalytic activity mechanism, are presented. The review covers the advantages and limitations of different TiO2 nanostructure production approaches and addresses potential toxicity to human health and the environment. In summary, this review provides a holistic perspective on applying nano-TiO2 materials to mitigate water pollution.

doi: 10.3390/reactions5010007

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