The IMTCCC has established close cooperations with ISWA, the institute for waste water treatment and various SMEs in the field of waste water treatment by photocatalysis. Photocatalysis as an alternative process for final treatment of urban sewage and industrial and agricultural effluents has been intensively studied worldwide over the last decade. Photocatalytic treatment has the potential to completely destroy poisonous substances such as residues of house hold chemicals, herbicides or pharmaceuticals. The basic requirements are a suitable photocatalyst such as titania and light of short wavelength. UV-A light generates electron hole pairs in the semiconductor TiO2 – provided the energy of incident light exceeds the band gap level. Pure titania requires ultraviolet radiation, by selective doping the spectrum of exploitable light can be shifted into the visible range. Hydroxyl radicals created react and completely oxidize almost any organic substances.
For an economically successful technical application it is essential to achieve high space velocity by integrating large and highly active catalytic surfaces in as little reactor volume as possible. Here the high performance ceramics and surface technology groups of IFKB work closely together to develop active catalysts and deposit catalytic layers on glassy substrates. Finally the efficiency of the photocatalysts is evaluated at ISWA in a pilot plant by testing with model substances and waste water.