Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 3743–3750 | Cite as

Photocatalytic degradation of methyl orange by a multi-layer rotating disk reactor

  • Chia-Nan Lin
  • Chih-Yi Chang
  • Hung Ji Huang
  • Din Ping Tsai
  • Nae-Lih Wu
Photocatalysis : fundamentals and applications in JEP 2011, Bordeaux.



Solar wastewater treatment based on photocatalytic reactions is a green process that utilizes renewable energy resources and minimizes secondary pollution. Reactor design plays an important role in promoting treatment efficiency and throughput density (based on unit volume of the reactor).


A rotating disk reactor that significantly increases the process efficiency has been designed and evaluated for application to photocatalytic decomposition of dye pollutants in aqueous solutions. In this process, a novel multi-layer rotating disk reactor (MLRDR) was presented. Photocatalyst (TiO2) particles are immobilized on the surfaces of disks. Within each layer of the reactor, methyl orange aqueous solution is allowed to flow from the center of the disk in a radial direction along the surface of the disk, which is rotating at high speed and is irradiated with UV lamps. The effluent is then directed to the center of another layer that lies underneath. Up to four stacked layers have been tested in this study, and the effects due to the number of the layers and volumetric flow rate on reaction conversion are investigated.

Results and discussion

The efficiency of this photocatalytic reactor exhibits complex dependence on these parameters. With selected operating conditions, conversions greater than 95% can be achieved within seconds of residence time. Design equations of the reactor have been derived based on fluid dynamics and kinetic models, and the simulation results show promising scale-up potential of the reactor.


Wastewater Photocatalysis Rotating disk reactor Simulation Fluid dynamics modeling Kinetics modeling Scale-up 



Concentration of species A (mole per liter)


Initial concentration of species A (mole per liter)


Gravitational acceleration (meter per square second)


Height of liquid film (meter)


Height of liquid film at middle of radius position of disk (meter)


Light intensities at the bottom of liquid film (watts per square meter)


Light intensities at the surface of liquid film (watts per square meter)


Adsorption equilibrium constant of reactant species


Reaction rate constant


Pressure of fluid (atmosphere)


Volumetric flow rate (cubic meter per second)


Radius of disk (meter)


Radius coordinate (meter)


Reaction rate of species A (mole per second per cubic meter)


Radius of inlet (meter)


Time (second)


Velocity components in radial direction (meter per second)


Total liquid volume held on disk (cubic meter)


Velocity of fluid (meter per second)


Conversion of methyl orange


Vertical coordinate (meter)

Greek Letters


Molar absorptivity (liter per mole per centimeter)


Viscosity of fluid (kilogram per meter per second)


Kinematic viscosity (square meter per second)


Fitted empirical parameters in


Density of the fluid (kilogram per cubic meter)


Average residence time on disk (second)


Angular velocity of disk (rad per second)



The research described here was supported by Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan under grant number 98-EC-17-A-09-S1-019 and National Science Council under 98-2120-M002-004.


  1. Alfano OM, Bahnemann D, Cassano AE, Dillert R, Goslich R (2000) Photocatalysis in water environments using artificial and solar light. Catal Today 58:199–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alekabi H, Serpone N, Pelizzetti E, Minero C, Fox MA, Draper RB (1989) Kinetic studies in heterogeneous photocatalysis. 2. TiO2-mediated degradation of 4-chlorophenol alone and in a three-component mixture of 4-chlorophenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, and 2,4,5-trichlorophenol in air-equilibrated aqueous media. Langmuir 5:250–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boodhoo KVK, Jachuck RJ (2003) Process intensification: spinning disc reactor for condensation polymerisation. Green Chem 2:235–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chang CY, Wu NL (2010) Process analysis on photocatalyzed dye decomposition for water treatment with TiO2-coated rotating disk reactor. Ind Eng Chem Res 49:12173–12179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dionysiou DD, Amid PK, Ann MK, Makram TS, Baudin I, Laîné JM (2000a) Continuous-mode photocatalytic degradation of chlorinated phenols and pesticides in water using a bench-scale TiO2 rotating disk reactor. Appl Catal B 24:139–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dionysiou DD, Balasubramanian G, Suidan MT, Khodadoust AP, Baudin I, Laine M (2000b) Rotating disk photocatalytic reactor: development, characterization, and evaluation for the destruction of organic pollutants in water. Water Res 34:2927–2940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Emslie AG, Bonner FT, Peck LG (1958) Flow of a viscous liquid on a rotating disk. J Appl Phys 29:858–868CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fujihira M, Satoh Y, Osa T (1981) Heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation of aromatic compounds on TiO2. Nature 293:206–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Herrmann JM, Mozzanega MN, Pichat P (1983) Oxidation of oxalic acid in aqueous suspensions of semiconductors illuminated with UV or visible light. J Photochem 22:333–343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hsiao CY, Lee CL, Ollis DF (1983) Heterogeneous photocatalysis: degradation of dilute solutions of dichloromethane, chloroform and carbon tetrachloride with illuminated TiO2 photocatalyst. J Catal 82:418–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamill NA, Weatherley LR, Hardacre C (2001) Use of a batch rotating photocatalytic contactor for the degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater. Appl Catal B 30:49–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leshev I, Peev G (2003) Film flow on a horizontal rotating disk. Chem Eng Process 42:925–929CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Myers TG, Lombe M (2006) The importance of the coriolis force on axisymmetric horizontal rotating thin film flows. Chem Eng Process 45:90–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ollis DF, Pelizzetti E, Serpone N (1991) Photocatalyzed destruction of water contaminants. Environ Sci Technol 25:1523–1529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rahul AD, Swaminathan T (2008) Performance evaluation of a continuous flow immobilized rotating tube photocatalytic reactor (IRTPR) immobilized with TiO2 catalyst for azo dye degradation. Chem Eng J 144:59–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rao KVS, Subrahmanyam M, Boule P (2004) Immobilized TiO2 photocatalyst during long-termuse: decrease of its activity. Appl Catal B 49:239–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rauscher JW, Kelly RE, Cole JD (1973) Asymptotic solution for laminar-flow of a thin-film on a rotating-disk. J Appl Mech 40:43–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tom VG, Guido M, Jacob M, Andrzej S (2007) A review of intensification of photocatalytic processes. Chem Eng Process 46:781–789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Turchi CS, Ollis DF (1990) Photocatalytic degradation of organic water contaminants: mechanisms involving hydroxyl radical attack. J Catal 122:178–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Yatmaz HC, Wallis C, Howarth CR (2001) The spinning disc reactor-studies on a novel TiO2 photocatalytic reactor. Chemosphere 42:397–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Zhang LF, Kanki T, Sano N, Toyoda A (2003) Development of TiO2 photocatalyst reaction for water purification. Sep Purif Technol 31:105–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chia-Nan Lin
    • 1
  • Chih-Yi Chang
    • 1
  • Hung Ji Huang
    • 2
  • Din Ping Tsai
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nae-Lih Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiRepublic of China
  2. 2.Instrument Technology Research CenterNational Applied Research LaboratoriesHsinchuRepublic of China
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiRepublic of China
  4. 4.Research Center for Applied SciencesAcademia SinicaTaipeiRepublic of China

Personalised recommendations