Author(s): Cho M, Chung H, Choi W, Yoon J
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Abstract The biocidal action of the TiO2 photocatalyst has been now well recognized from massive experimental evidences, which demonstrates that the photocatalytic disinfection process could be technically feasible. However, the understanding on the photochemical mechanism of the biocidal action largely remains unclear. In particular, the identity of main acting photooxidants and their roles in the mechanism of killing microorganisms is under active investigation. It is generally accepted that reactive oxygen species (ROS) and OH radicals play the role. The aim of this study is to determine how the OH radical, acting either independently or in collaboration with other ROS, is quantitatively related to the inactivation of E. coli. The steady-state concentrations of OH radicals ([*OH]ss) in UV-illuminated TiO2 suspensions could be quantified from the measured photocatalytic degradation rates of p-chlorobenzoic acid (a probe compound) and its literature bimolecular rate constant with OH radicals. The results demonstrated an excellent linear correlation between [*OH]ss and the rates of E. coli inactivation, which indicates that the OH radical is the primary oxidant species responsible for inactivating E. coli in the UV/TiO2 process. The CT value of OH radical for achieving 2 log E. coli inactivation was initially found to be 0.8x10(-5) mg min/l, as predicted by the delayed Chick-Watson model. Although the primary role of OH radicals in photocatalytic disinfection processes has been frequently assumed, this is the first quantitative demonstration that the concentration of OH radicals and the biocidal activity is linearly correlated.
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Pollution Effects & Control