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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 764870, 11 pages
Review Article

Applications of Photocatalytic Disinfection

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, 161 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, ON, K1N6N5, Canada

Received 28 June 2010; Accepted 11 August 2010

Academic Editor: Detlef W. Bahnemann

Copyright © 2010 Joanne Gamage and Zisheng Zhang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Due to the superior ability of photocatalysis to inactivate a wide range of harmful microorganisms, it is being examined as a viable alternative to traditional disinfection methods such as chlorination, which can produce harmful byproducts. Photocatalysis is a versatile and effective process that can be adapted for use in many applications for disinfection in both air and water matrices. Additionally, photocatalytic surfaces are being developed and tested for use in the context of “self-disinfecting” materials. Studies on the photocatalytic technique for disinfection demonstrate this process to have potential for widespread applications in indoor air and environmental health, biological, and medical applications, laboratory and hospital applications, pharmaceutical and food industry, plant protection applications, wastewater and effluents treatment, and drinking water disinfection. Studies on photocatalytic disinfection using a variety of techniques and test organisms are reviewed, with an emphasis on the end-use application of developed technologies and methods.