Decontamination of water by solar irradiation

Sixto Malato, Manuel I. Maldonado, Pilar Fernández, Isabel Oller, Inmaculada Polo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Humankind has been changing, contaminating, and polluting their environment since the Paleolithic era. This first type of pollution was air pollution through the use of fire (Spengler and Sexton, 1983). Later, in the Bronze Age and Iron Age, the forging of metals produced significant air and soil pollution as can be seen in glacial core samples in Greenland (Honget al., 1996). As early as the 9th century, Arab and Persian scientists have written about pollution and waste handlings (Gari, 2002). The industrial revolution in the 19th century led to the environmental pollution, as we know it today with its new industries and the enormous consumption of coal and oil, which lead to air pollution and the discharge of chemicals and industrial wastes into waterways (streams and rivers). After WWII, the matter of pollution came into public focus not only through the matter of atomic fallout (atomic warfare and testing), but as well as through the great smog event in 1952 in London, which killed between 4000 and 12,000 people (De Angelo and Black, 2008). Several environmental disasters happened in 20th century such as the Mercury poisoning of Minamata Bay (Japan) 1956, the Dioxin disaster in Seveso (Italy) 1976, the Love Canal chemical waste dump (USA) 1978, Three Mile Island core meltdown (USA) 1979, the Union Carbide gas leak in Bhopal (India) 1984, Thermonuclear Meltdown in Chernobyl (Ukraine) 1986 and Fukushima (Japan) 2011, numerous events of oil leaks and spills (Torrey Canyon 1967, Piper Alpha 1988, Exxon Valdez 1989, the Gulf War 1991, Deepwater Horizon 2010, etc.). It was also very important for the environment the use of more than 75000 m3 of Agent Orange in Vietnam during 1962-1971 and the destructive impact of acid rain on limestone, plants and lakes, which was discovered as early as 1852 by Robert Angus Smith (Seinfeld, 1998), but was not studied widely until the late 1960s (Likens et al., 1996).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Oxidation Technologies - Sustainable Solutions for Environmental Treatments
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781315777658
ISBN (Print)9781138001275
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2014


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