Photocatalytic inactivation of Escherischia coli: Effect of concentration of TiO2 and microorganism, nature, and intensity of UV irradiation
The efficiency of photocatalytic disinfection, used to inactivate Escherischia coli K12 under different physico-chemical parameters, was examined. The photocatalyst chosen was the semiconductor TiO2 degussa P25 and the irradiation was produced by an HPK 125 lamp. The effect of titania concentration was investigated using two E. coli concentrations. The photocatalyst concentration ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 g/L. The evolution of E. coli inactivation as function of time was discussed depending on the E. coli and TiO2 concentrations. The optimal concentration of the photocatalyst, 0.25 g/L, is lower than that necessary to absorb all photons and to degrade the organic compounds. Some hypotheses are presented to explain this behaviour. The effect of the different domains of UV light (UVA, UVB, and UVC) was also studied and modification of the light irradiation intensity is discussed. No bacteria photolysis was obtained with UVA but the use UVC had, on the contrary, a detrimental effect on bacteria survival. The addition of titania at a low concentration, 0.25 g/L, improved the inactivation of E. coli in the presence of UVA and UVB, but a detrimental effect was observed under UVC. The disinfection efficiency increases as a function of light intensity, whatever the photocatalytic conditions (different TiO2 concentrations and different UV domains). No bacterial growth was observed after disinfection, whether the system contained titania or not.
Journal: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental - Volume 76, Issues 3–4, 15 November 2007, Pages 257–263