- Elucidation of the underlying mechanistic aspects governing the Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs).
- Investigation towards synergistic coupling between AOPs for the degradation of chemical and microbial pollutants in water and wastewater.
- Development of low-cost technologies for water quality improvement in developing countries.
- Anti-bacterial coating technologies (sol-gel, magnetron sputtering)
Wastewaters coming from many (agro) industrial activities, as well as certain natural mediums (ground water, rivers, lakes…), often contain toxic chemical pollutants and microorganisms, which are not eliminated by the existing treatment methods.
In this context, the GPAO looks for the scientific understanding and the development of new processes for the destruction of bio-recalcitrant compounds and pathogenic microorganisms present in drinking water sources and wastewater effluents. Here, the Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs), such as photo-catalysis, ultrasound, electrochemical or chemical ones (O3, H2O2…) are combined between them and/or with biological systems for efficient abatement of persistent organic or microbial contaminants.
In order to actively contribute to fragile populations’ living standards, mainly in Latin America and Africa, a long term collaboration is developed with Universities from these regions. More specifically, the development of solar photo-catalytic process for wastewater treatment and drinking water supply is sought, as a green, sustainable and low-cost option.
For optimizing some of these AOP’s we design, prepare and characterize new suspended or supported nano-catalysts efficient for pollutant degradation and bacterial inactivation. For instance, photo-catalysts with widened visible light absorption are prepared by doping TiO2 to enhance the solar light absorption for environmental remediation of microbiological and chemical pollution.