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CATALYSIS – Photocatalysis - Dimitris I. Kondarides

PHOTOCATALYSIS Dimitris I. Kondarides

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Patras, Greece

Keywords: Photocatalysis, semiconductor, photocatalyst, electronic properties, optical properties, mechanism, kinetics, photoreactor.


1. Introduction

2. Electronic and optical properties of semiconductors

3. Principles of semiconductor photocatalysis

4. Semiconductor photocatalysts and methods for improving performance 5. Photoreactors

6. Applications of semiconductor photocatalysis

7. Summary and conclusions



Biographical sketch


Photocatalysis is a rapidly developing field of research with a high potential for a wide range of industrial applications, which include mineralization of organic pollutants, disinfection of water and air, production of renewable fuels, and organic syntheses. This article is focusing on semiconductor-mediated photocatalysis, that is, processes occurring on semiconductor-fluid interfaces irradiated with photons of proper energy. The theory and background necessary to understand semiconductor photocatalysis is first discussed, with emphasis given on the electronic and optical properties of bulk and particulate semiconducting materials. This is followed by the discussion of the principles of semiconductor photocatalysis and the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects which determine photocatalytic performance. The various types of available photocatalysts are then presented along with issues related to quantum efficiency, response to visible light and photochemical stability. A number of methods of improving photocatalytic performance are then described. The most important types of photoreactor configurations irradiated by artificial or solar light are presented and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Finally, a selection of representative semiconductor-mediated photocatalytic processes is presented, mainly focusing on environmental and energy related applications.

1. Introduction

The word “photocatalysis” is of Greek origin and composes of two parts: the prefix “photo” (phos: light) and the word “catalysis” (katalyo: brake apart, decompose). Although there is no consensus in the scientific community as to a proper definition of photocatalysis, the term can be generally used to describe a process in which light is used to activate a substance, the photocatalyst, which modifies the rate of a chemical

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