Photocatalytic Degradation of Water Contaminants in Multiple Photoreactors and Evaluation of Reaction Kinetic Constants Independent of Photon Absorption, Irradiance, Reactor Geometry, and Hydrodynamics
journal contributionposted on 03.12.2013, 00:00 by Ivana Grčić, Gianluca Li Puma
The literature on photocatalytic oxidation of water pollutants often reports reaction kinetic constants, which cannot be unraveled from photoreactor type and experimental conditions. This study addresses this challenging aspect by presenting a general and simple methodology for the evaluation of fundamental “intrinsic” reaction kinetic constants of photocatalytic degradation of water contaminants, which are independent of photoreactor type, catalyst concentration, irradiance levels, and hydrodynamics. The degradation of the model contaminant, oxalic acid (OA) on titanium dioxide (TiO2) aqueous suspensions, was monitored in two annular photoreactors (PR1 and PR2). The photoreactors with significantly different geometries were operated under different hydrodynamic regimes (turbulent batch mode and laminar flow-through recirculation mode), optical thicknesses, catalyst and OA concentrations, and photon irradiances. The local volumetric rate of photon absorption (LVRPA) was evaluated by the six-flux radiation absorption-scattering model (SFM). The SFM was further combined with a comprehensive kinetic model for the adsorption and photodecomposition of OA on TiO2 to determine local reaction rates and, after integration over the reactor volume, the intrinsic reaction kinetic constants. The model could determine the oxidation of OA in both PR1 and PR2 under a wide range of experimental conditions. This study demonstrates a more meaningful way for determining reaction kinetic constants of photocatalytic degradation of water contaminants.