A Photoreactor for Photocatalytic Degradation of Pharmaceutical Pollutants

Non-Confidential description of the invention

Water remediation has become more challenging due to the emergence of new class of emerging pollutants. These pollutants possess recalcitrant nature towards conventional water treatment methods used in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). To treat these pollutants photocatalysis has provided innovative and cheap solutions. Typical use of powder photocatalyst has its limitation due to unexposed large surface of area with inefficient mass transfer and lack of recyclability under flow conditions. ACF being an excellent adsorbent, has established a benchmark in the field of water purification. Supporting photocatalyst over ACF helps to get advantage of both, i.e. photocatalysis and adsorption, while simultaneously curbing the major drawback of photocatalyst elution without a supporting substrate (due to their small size) in a flowing stream. Here, easy, cost-effective fabrication technique for decoration of iron (III) oxide/bismuth carbonate heterojunction supported over activated carbon fiber (i.e. Fe2O3@BOC/ACF) has advantages such as better surface exposure and improved light harvesting ability via charge carrier collection. Additional support of carbon fiber for this heterojunction has direct benefits of mechanical stability and flexibility of the photocatalyst under continuous reactor operation. From a practical perspective, we have used developed photocatalyst in a continuous reactor prototype (as most of the work is carried out for batch scale operation), exhibiting excellent visible light photocatalytic activity for degradation of emerging pharmaceutical pollutant (antipyrine). No change in morphology, stability and free from secondary pollutant have extra advantages for the suitability of the photocatalyst. Scaled-up version of the catalyst and the prototype reactor can be used in the WWTPs, whereas, their extended application can also be explored for water treatment in the industries producing pharmaceutical, leather, dyes, detergent and cosmetics. A photoreactor for photocatalytic degradation of pharmaceutical pollutants, comprises an outer tube comprising a closed bottom, wherein the bottom configured to have a first opening to enable inflow of the pharmaceutical pollutants to be treated, an intermediate tube comprising a closed bottom configured to be concentrically disposed inside the outer tube and an inner tube comprising a closed bottom configured to be concentrically disposed inside the intermediate tube. Further a method for preparation of an activated carbon fiber (ACF) cloth immobilized with Fe2O3@BOC comprising pretreating, a cut pieces of ACF cloth with predetermined dimensions, immobilizing a bismuth carbonate (BOC) on the ACF via a solution method and depositing, a Fe2O3 nanoparticles on ACF supported BOC nanosheet to form efficient light harvesting Fe2O3@BOC heterojunction. The present invention provides industrial effluent treatment comprising pharmaceutical pollutants such as antipyrine, amoxycillin, atenolol, bezafibrate, carbamazepine, cetirizine, clofibric acid, diclofenac, erythromycin, felbamate, and ibuprofen etc.


Dr. Raju Kumar Gupta (ChE), Dr. Prasenjit Kar (Institute Postdoc, ChE), Mr. Pratyush Jain (MSR Student, ChE), Ms. Komal Shukla (PhD Student, ChE)



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Awaiting Examination

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