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Synthesis of Photocatalytic Biomimetic Nanocomposite for Enhanced Water Purification

Jason J. Keleher, James Rago, Elizabeth Senese, Jacob Murray, Samantha J. Rinehart, Jeromy J. Rech


Clean and drinkable water is a critical necessity for all human and economic developments; unfortunately, millions of people do not have access to potable water, resulting in the death of over two million children every year. Over the past decade, emphasis has been placed on the synthesis and design of photocatalytic nanocomposites to enhance the chemical degradation of organic pollutants as a cost effective vehicle for clean water production. This work develops a biomimetic cellulose-based nanocomposite media, which utilizes visible light to degrade organic pollutants through photo-redox reactions. More specifically, surface modified nanoparticles (through noble metal deposition and dye functionalization) were synthesized to increase the photon capture efficiency in the visible light region of the resultant nanocomposite. Both dye sensitization and noble metal deposition showed a substantial increase in the amount of degraded model pollutant (~75%) when compared to unmodified TiO2 nanoparticles. In addition to increasing the photochemical degradation rate, the incorporation of Ag-functionalized nanocomposites resulted in a synergistic antimicrobial effect, which eliminated both Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus from the water sample.

Keywords: Water filtration, antimicrobial, biomimetic, wastewater, nanocomposite

Cite this Article
Jeromy J. Rech, Samantha J. Rinehart, Jacob Murray, Elizabeth Senese, James Rago, Jason J. Keleher. Synthesis of Photocatalytic Biomimetic Nanocomposite for Enhanced Water Purification. Journal of Water Pollution & Purification Research. 2016; 3(2): 1–16p.

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