Infrared and photocatalytic studies of model bacterial species for water treatment

Ede, Sarah Melinda (2006) Infrared and photocatalytic studies of model bacterial species for water treatment. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The use of a CO2 infrared (IR) laser and photocatalysis for water treatment microorganism disinfection purposes was investigated.

During CO2 infrared (IR) laser treatment E. cloacae inactivation was comparable to inactivation via ultraviolet (UV) treatment; however no inactivation of the more resistant B. subtilis endospores occurred. Fourier Transform Infrared-Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy of the bacterial cells displayed increased polysaccharide contents after IR treatment. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy of simple carbohydrates before and after IR laser treatment displayed no spectral changes, with the exception of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (NAG), which was partially attributed to sampling techniques. E. cloacae inactivation during IR treatment was attributed to localised and overall temperature increases within the water. Due to the inability to inactivate B. subtilis endospores this technique is not suitable for water treatment purposes.

Photocatalytic water treatment using novel TiO2 colloids prepared via a postsynthetic microwave-modification process (MW-treated) was also examined. These colloids were characterised using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analyses and compared to Degussa P25 and convection hydrothermally-treated (HT-treated) TiO2. Slurry suspensions displayed comparable E. coli inactivation rates, so the colloids were examined in immobilised form using both a model organic degradant, oxalic acid, and E. coli. Oxalic acid degradation studies showed that the MW-treated colloids displayed similar inactivation rates to the HT-treated TiO2, due to their pure anatase composition, while Degussa P25 displayed higher inactivation rates. Investigations into the effect of shortening UV wavelength were also performed. Degussa P25 was the only catalyst which displayed higher apparent quantum yields upon shortening the UV wavelength, which was attributed to its mixed-phase anatase-rutile composition.

As E. coli inactivation was observed using distilled water, photocatalysis in natural river water was trailed. It was discovered that the pH had to be lowered from 7.5 to 5.0 and the initial cell concentration must be approximately 1 x 103 colony forming units (CFU) per cm3 or less for inactivation to be observed during a 5 hour treatment period. At a catalyst loading of 1.0 mg per cm2, Degussa P25 absorbed all the applied UVA irradiation; however the MW- and HT-treated TiO2 colloids did not due to their smaller particle size. Therefore sandwich experiments were devised to evaluate the effect of unabsorbed UV irradiation within the system. Small colony variants were identified after photocatalytic and UV treatment, which pose a potential threat to public health.

Further investigation of the different TiO2 colloids was performed using in situ

FTIR, both with and without an applied potential and compared to a thermally prepared TiO2 catalyst. The latter displayed potential dependent photocatalysis, while the mesoporous TiO2 catalysts displayed potential independent photocatalysis. All catalyst types displayed increased degradation rates upon the application of a positive bias, which was followed in situ via the production of CO2. Sodium oxalate and NAG was examined for photocatalytic degradation, both of which were degraded to CO2, with proposed break-down products identified when using NAG.

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ID Code: 16438
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Will, Geoffrey, Frost, Raymond, & Hafner, Louise
Keywords: titanium dioxide photocatalyst, water purification, water treatment, photocatalytic effect, infrared and photocatalytic studies, infrared (IR) laser, photocatalysis, model bacterial species
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Science
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Sarah Melinda Ede
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:03
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:47

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