Field testing of low-cost titania-based photocatalysts for enhanced solar disinfection (SODIS) in rural India†
To widen access to safe potable water in rural areas, many novel photocatalysts have been developed and presented in the literature, with the potential to be used in conjunction with simple solar disinfection (SODIS) techniques, showing successful removal of a range of contaminants. However, it is often the case that investigations into new photocatalytic systems are limited to laboratory tests, which are generally conducted under idealised conditions that do not take into account many practical limitations of real-world conditions. To address this need, we have conducted tests under sunlight using real water sources from rural villages in India to verify the results of previous successful laboratory tests on a novel photocatalyst. It was found that SODIS can be significantly enhanced with the addition of photocatalyst, with an enhanced titania-based material showing better performance under solar irradiation relative to titania alone, consistent with our lab studies. The study also highlights areas for further optimisation, desirable to achieve before the technology can be most-effectively implemented.