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Titanium Dioxide-Mediated Photocatalytic Degradation of Humic Acid under Natural Sunlight

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In this article, photocatalytic degradation of humic acid, a predominant type of natural organic matter present in ground and surface waters, was conducted using a commercial titanium dioxide catalyst under natural sunlight irradiation in a batch photoreactor. Various parameters, such as photocatalyst loading, pH value, irradiation intensity, initial concentration, and illumination time, had a significant influence on humic acid removal. The adsorption isotherm of TiO2 dosage fit to Langmuir's isotherm equation well, and the reaction kinetics of initial dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration increased with the increase of TiO2 dosage but decreased with the increase of initial DOC. The mineralization of humic acid revealed that the large molecular weight organics with aromatic and hydrophobic properties were removed, while the most persistent components were the shortest UV-absorbing and hydrophilic low-molecular-weight compounds. This study indicates that the solar/TiO2 photocatalytic degradation is a promising process for humic acid removal from water.
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Keywords: humic acid; mineralization; natural sunlight; photocatalytic degradation; reaction kinetics; titanium dioxide

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1; telephone: +1 (807) 343 8011; facsimile: +1 (807) 346 7943;

Publication date: 2013-01-01

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    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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