The objective of this work is double—firstly to explore the photocatalytic efficiency of five different commercial TiO2 catalysts in the photodegradation of a mixture of pesticides classified by the EU as priority pollutants and secondly to analyze the correlation between their physicochemical properties and the inhibition of the studied photocatalytic process when natural water was employed. Photocatalytic efficiencies when ultrapure water was used seem to point out that surface area was not a prerequisite for the photodegradation of the selected mixture of pesticides. On the other hand, significant differences in total organic carbon (TOC) conversions were obtained with the two studied water compositions. On one side, Evonik materials appear to be mostly inhibited when natural water was employed, whereas on the other, it should be remarked that anatase Sigma-Aldrich (SA) and, particularly, Hombikat UV100 (HBK) materials presented a very limited photo-efficiency inhibition or even a higher initial rate of TOC removal when a natural water matrix was used, probably due to their specific surface properties (PZC, SBET). Therefore, heterogeneous photocatalysis has proved to be a promising technology for the degradation of the selected mixture of pesticides where the final photo-efficiency of the five commercial titania catalysts studied here responds to a complex balance between its surface and structural properties.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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