Topics in Current Chemistry

, 377:22 | Cite as

Photocatalytic Reactor Modeling: Application to Advanced Oxidation Processes for Chemical Pollution Abatement

  • María de los Milagros Ballari
  • María Lucila Satuf
  • Orlando M. AlfanoEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Heterogeneous Photocatalysis


A methodology for photocatalytic reactor modeling applied to advanced oxidation processes for chemical pollution abatement is presented herein. Three distinct reactor configurations typically employed in the field of air and water purification—wall reactors, slurry reactors, and fixed-bed reactors—are considered to illustrate the suggested approach. Initially, different mechanistically derived kinetic expressions to represent the photocatalytic rate of pollutant degradation are reviewed, indicating the main assumptions made by the authors in the published contributions. These kinetic expressions are needed to solve the mass balances of the reactant species in the photocatalytic reactors. As is well known, at least one of the steps of the reaction mechanism requires evaluation of the rate of electron–hole generation, which depends on the photon absorption rate: a volumetric property for reactions with the catalyst particles in aqueous suspension or a surface property for systems with a fixed catalyst deposited on an inert support. Subsequently, the different techniques for evaluating the optical properties of slurry and immobilized systems, and the numerical methods applied to calculate the photon absorption rate, are described. The experimental and theoretical results of pollutant degradation in each reactor type are then presented and analyzed. Finally, the definition, calculation, and relevance of different efficiency parameters are briefly reviewed. Using these illustrative examples, we emphasize the need for a systematic and rigorous approach for photocatalytic reactor modeling in order to overcome the inherent drawbacks of photocatalysis and to improve the overall efficiency of the process.


Photocatalysis Modeling Photon absorption Wall reactor Slurry reactor Fixed-bed reactor 



The authors are grateful to Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL, Project PIC50420150100009LI), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET, Project PIP-2015 0100093), and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT, Project PICT-2015-2651, Project PICT 2014-1020) for the financial support. They also thank Claudia M. Romani for her technical assistance.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • María de los Milagros Ballari
    • 1
  • María Lucila Satuf
    • 1
  • Orlando M. Alfano
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de Desarrollo Tecnológico para la Industria Química, INTEC (Universidad Nacional del Litoral and CONICET)Santa FeArgentina

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