Electrochemically assisted photocatalysis for the disinfection of rainwater under solar irradiation

Stuart McMichael, Monique Waso, B Reyneke, Wesaal Khan, John Byrne, Pilar Fernandez-Ibanez

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In this work a photo electrochemical reactor (PEC) with a compound parabolic collector (CPC) has been designed and tested for the electrochemically assisted photocatalytic (EAP) disinfection of rainwater under real sun conditions in South Africa. The reactor consisted of a Ti mesh coated with aligned titania nanotubes with a carbon counter electrode in a concentric tubular configuration, within a borosilicate glass tube with a CPC. Environmental strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were used. The viability of the microorganisms was analysed by culture-based and by EMA-qPCR methods. The reactor was tested under real sun during the winter in South Africa with a relatively low UV irradiance (max: 13 Wm-2). Under real sun irradiation, EAP yielded a 5.5-log10 reduction for E. coli and a 5.8-log10 reduction for P. aeruginosa for culture-based analysis. The EAP treatment also showed improved results by EMA-qPCR analysis with a 2.4-log10 reduction in gene copies for E. coli and 3.0-log10 for P. aeruginosa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119485
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Issue number119485
Early online date28 Aug 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Aug 2020


  • EMA-qPCR
  • Electrochemically assisted photocatalysis
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Solar disinfection
  • TiO Nanotubes

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