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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 790173, 29 pages
Review Article

Recent Developments in Environmental Photocatalytic Degradation of Organic Pollutants: The Case of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles—A Review

1Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 17011, Doornfontein 2028, South Africa
2Nanotechnology and Water Sustainable Unit, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of South Africa, Florida Campus, Johannesburg 17025, South Africa

Received 29 April 2015; Revised 29 July 2015; Accepted 5 August 2015

Academic Editor: Xin Zhang

Copyright © 2015 Mphilisi M. Mahlambi et al. 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.


The presence of both organic and inorganic pollutants in water due to industrial, agricultural, and domestic activities has led to the global need for the development of new, improved, and advanced but effective technologies to effectively address the challenges of water quality. It is therefore necessary to develop a technology which would completely remove contaminants from contaminated waters. TiO2 (titania) nanocatalysts have a proven potential to treat “difficult-to-remove” contaminants and thus are expected to play an important role in the remediation of environmental and pollution challenges. Titania nanoparticles are intended to be both supplementary and complementary to the present water-treatment technologies through the destruction or transformation of hazardous chemical wastes to innocuous end-products, that is, CO2 and H2O. This paper therefore explores and summarizes recent efforts in the area of titania nanoparticle synthesis, modifications, and application of titania nanoparticles for water treatment purposes.