Effective elimination of drug residues in water using photocatalytic degradation (Danube)

The project responds to environmental challenges while expanding knowledge and skills related to plasma processing and nanotechnology. Pollution of water resources by industrial waste (synthetic dyes, pesticides, hormones, and pharmaceuticals) is currently a serious environmental problem. Decomposition of pollutants by photoactive particles represents a relatively new method of wastewater treatment, in which photoactive particles dispersed in pre-treated wastewater and irradiated with UV light generate reactive oxygen species (singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals, etc.) on their surface. Semiconductor photocatalytic materials, especially based on zinc oxide, have great potential for bacterial inactivation contained in wastewater. The aim of the project is to elucidate the influence of surface condition, illumination, magnetic field, and environment on photocatalytic effects in new nanostructured transition oxide alloys, including photogenerated electron - hole effects, spin polarized band structures and charge transfer in heterostructures. Using plasma, we will influence surface properties, such as adsorption of molecules, surface electronic states and defects, surface charge, electrokinetic potential, etc. We will explain the interaction between plasma and surface states. The next step will be to test the photocatalytic activity of plasma-treated hybrid nanoparticles by measuring the degradability of synthetic dyes – methylene blue (cationic dye) and methylene orange (anionic dye).