The photocatalytic removal of bacterial pollutants from drinking water

PSM Dunlop, JA Byrne, N Manga, BR Eggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Citations (Scopus)


Pathogens in drinking water supplies can be removed by sand filtration followed by chlorine or ozone disinfection. These processes reduce the possibility of any pathogens entering the drinking water distribution network. However, there is doubt about the ability of these methods to remove chlorine resistant microorganisms including protozoan oocysts. Concern has also been raised about the production of disinfection by-products following the chlorination process. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysis is a possible alternative/complementary drinking water treatment method. TiO2 electrodes were prepared by the electrophoretic immobilisation of TiO2 powder (Aldrich and Degussa P25). These electrodes were tested for their photocatalytic bactericidal efficiency. E. coli K 12 was used as a model test organism. The rate of disinfection was greater for the P25 electrode compared to the Aldrich electrode under open circuit conditions, The application of an electrical bias to the working electrode increased the rate of disinfection by similar to40% for the P25 electrode and similar to80% for the Aldrich electrode. The effect of applied potential was more pronounced under conditions of high initial bacterial cell loading and high light intensities. Bacterial recovery did not occur up to 48 h after disinfection. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Issue number1-3, S
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - May 2002

Bibliographical note

1st International Conference on Semiconductor Photochemistry (SP-1), GLASGOW, SCOTLAND, JUL 23-25, 2001


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