Designing a catalytic reactor for the treatment of refractory pollutants in waters: FOTOGRAFENO 3






The intention of this multi-year project, developed by AIJU in collaboration with AIDIMME, is to design and manufacture a prototype for a photocatalytic reactor based on new photoactive reactants (TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles doped with metallic ions and supported on reduced graphene oxide) which will make it possible to eliminate refractory pollutants in industrial wastewater.

During year one, which ended on 30/06/18, we focused on synthesizing the catalysts, mainly achieved with sol-gel technology, which offered advantages such as the production of nanoparticles with a large surface area. Furthermore, we used photocatalysts obtained from an industrial waste recovery process (ZnO). Thereby giving an application to waste recovered from the non-ferrous metal processing industry. Finally, we characterised and tested the new formulations that we developed as photocatalysts in dispersion in order to eliminate common organic pollutants.

During the second year of the project, which ended on 30/06/19, we developed a series of supports onto which to fix the photocatalysts we had developed; we used advanced techniques of advanced manufacturing and compression to create physical supports (tablets), as well as other types of surface adhesion treatments (spraying, immersion). We also carried out the physical, chemical, morphological and structural characterisation of the supports with the developed formulations, and we tested their photocatalytic degradation capacity. Lastly, we carried out the final validation of the design and the construction of the first reactor.

During year three, we will develop and set up the second photocatalytic reactor with improved efficiency, we will perform the photocatalytic stability/efficacy test on the reactors of the supports developed with the new photocatalytic formulations, based on TiO2 and/or ZnO, deposited on reduced graphene oxide and doped with metallic ions. Finally, we will validate them with real industrial wastewater from companies in the sector (cardboard products, chemical, metal processing industries) and from the wastewater treatment sector, in addition to the pertinent tasks of diffusion/dissemination/transfer to companies.

  • Starting date: 01/07/2019
  • Duration: 10 months
  • Status: Work in progress



This project is subsidised by IVACE, the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness of the Regional Government of Valencia, 50% co-financed through the FEDER Operational Programme of the Valencian Community 2014-2020.