*WINNER* Modeling a Photocatalytic Reactor: Water Contaminant Degradation, Energy Production, and the Radiation Field
As the amount of human and industrial waste in the environment increases, the need for more effective and efficient water treatment methods is higher than ever. Current wastewater treatment processes have been found to be ineffective against a growing number of contaminants, including pharmaceutical compounds. Coupled with the necessity of pharmaceutical-free water, energy sources that are easily produced, affordable, and environmentally-friendly are a growing societal need. This project will employ two methods of approach to address the issues of pharmaceutical degradation and energy production. The first method will employ thin-film photocatalysis to achieve simultaneous contaminant degradation and hydrogen gas production as an energy source. The second method will utilize the development of a mathematical model of the reactor system, intended for future use as an upscaling mechanism to be used in wastewater treatment facilities.