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A Decade of Heterogeneous Photocatalysis in Our Laboratory: Pure and Applied Studies in Energy Production and Environmental Detoxification

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Heterogeneous Photocatalysis (HP) has been examined and explored as a potentially viable alternative technology to classical "best" technologies in both environmental detoxification and in energy production. Both fundamental and applied investigations have been pursued over the last decade (1983-1993). This novel technology employs illuminated semiconductor materials as photocatalysts such as CdS and TiO2 to produce both reducing and highly oxidizing species on the particle surface, poised to unleash redox reactions in aqueous media some of which are not possible by normal chemical means. Our laboratory has been involved in this area and has made a significant contribution in (i) demonstrating the generality of the techniques to mineralize a large variety of environmental organics to carbon dioxide together with disposing of trace and toxic metals from aqueous media, and in (ii) understanding the events taking place initially when the light photons interact with the photocatalysts and later when the mineralization process proceeds to its pathological conclusion(s). In this paper we briefly review some of the salient features of our work in Heterogeneous Photocatalysis over the last decade.

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Pure and Applied Studies in Catalysis, Environment and Materials, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Concordia University, 1455 deMaisonneuve Blvd West, Montreal, CANADA H3G 1M8


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