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Water, together with energy and food, has been addressed as one of the main urgent problems of humanity. The conventional wastewater treatments suffer some limitations related to the effectiveness in decontamination (mechanical filtration), in the heavy use of chemicals (chlorination), or in elevation of operational costs and energy requirements (desalination and reverse osmosis). In this sense, new materials such as nanocompositesmayovercometheseissues takingadvantageofthepeculiarproperties of materials atnanoscale. Researchonnovelnanotechnologiesmustbringadvancesinorder to contrast and prevent water scarcity and pollution. In order to be effective, these nanotechnologies should run at low operational cost, even in places unequipped by strong infrastructures and in concert with conventional cheap methodologies.Among the alternative water purification methods, TiO2-based photocatalysis has attracted great attention due to material stability, abundance, non-toxicity and high decontamination efficiency. In this material, electron–hole pairs generated by light absorption separate from each other and migrate to catalytically active sites at the surface of the photocatalyst. Photogenerated carriers are able to induce the decomposition of organic pollutants as well as the deactivation of bacteria and viruses. The main deficiency of this material, related to its large bandgap, is that only the UV fraction of the solar spectrum which is effective to this purpose. Several approaches have been proposed to overpass this issue and, among them, the use of metal–TiO2 nanocomposites with proper nanostructuration seems very promising for water …
Publication date: 
1 Jun 2016
Biblio References: 
Green Nanotechnology-Overview and Further Prospects