Photocatalytic Degradation of Acetaminophen in Water Via Ultraviolet Radiation and Titanium Dioxide Thin Films


  • Sunil Rawal
  • Sabrina H. Buer


Traditional Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) have not been designed to handle pharmaceutical-based contaminants and, therefore, cannot completely eliminate drugs residues. As a result, pharmaceutical metabolites can be found in ground water, surface water and in drinking water in low concentrations. The application of titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysis, for water purification, is widespread technique due to it is chemically inert, cost-effective, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. In this contribution, transparent, anatase-form TiO2 thin films were prepared via the sol-gel method and deposited onto glass microscope slides, using a novel spraying technique, with coatings ranging from one to ten. Furthermore, characterization of the coated TiO2 thin film slides was performed by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The slides were used to determine the photocatalytic degradation rate of acetaminophen with different pH ranges (acidic, basic and neutral), different contaminant concentration, and different slides conditions. It was observed that over a period of 90- minute intervals the increase in number of thin film slides displayed a considerable increase in the degradation rate due to the increase in surface area, that helps to form more active sites. However, these results are sensitivity to the pH of the media with the neutral one being the most favorable for the degradation. The global reaction rate constants for both four and six thin film glass slides increase with the increases in the coating layers. Key results with systematic statistically analysis and concluding remarks will be presented. Finally, suggestions for future work will be offered.