The novel thin-film photoreactor for the disinfection and treatment of water –the University of Gdańsk scientists’ project

In January 2020, team of scientists led by prof. dr hab. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Gdańsk will begin  development of the innovative thin-film photoreactor to be applied in disinfection, treatment of water and treatment of sewage processes.  The project received funding from the National Science Center TANGO 3 Program.

The main objective of the project is to design, construct and test the innovative thin-film photoreactor, fitted with the photocatalytic layer in a form of nanotubes made up of the mixture of TiO2 with Ag2O and/or Cu2O. Studies have shown that titanium-silver and titanium-copper alloy nanotubes may be activated with the visible spectrum radiation, which significantly lowers the cost of such photochemical reactions. As a result of the nanotubes being highly active during microorganism inactivity processes, the photreactor could be used in water treatment processes.  The energy-saving LEDs will create the source of radiation, the scientists declare.

The project’s research team announced creating the concept of the economic use of the photoreactor in fields like disinfection and water treatment and conducting market analysis on the demand for manufacturing and/or use of such photoreactor. The main project team tasks include submitting patent application and finding entrepreneurial partner for the product.

- The proposed Foto4Chem project’s photoreactor will be fitted with the innovative photocatalytic layer, containing titanium dioxide and a second metal oxide , silver oxide or copper oxide. Those are narrow band gap oxides, which allow the use of the visual spectrum radiation to initiate the reaction, in opposition to the high-energy UV radiation. The photocatalytic layers were designed by my team under the NCN OPUS project, while under the TANGO 3 project we want to create a method of developing those layers on a technological, fractional scale. That will allow manufacturing such layers and photoreactors in the future – says prof. dr hab. Adriana Zaleska-Medynska  from the Faculty of Chemistry, the Head of the Department of Environmental Technology and the manager of the project.

Possible applications of the thin-filmed photoreactor:

  • water treatment processes
  • sewage treatment processes
  • photocatalytic synthesis reactions (e.g. remuneration of waste products like glycerin, lignin, glucose by converting them to the valuable raw materials or intermediate products for chemical industry, like organic acids, ketones, aldehydes)

The project will last from January till December 2020, with a total budget of PLN 178,825.00 . The leading contractors of the project are dr inż. Paweł Mazierski and mgr inż. Magda Kozak, both from the Department of Environmental Technology.

Biuro Rzecznika Prasowego Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego