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Photocatalytic Degradation and Defluorination of Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using TiO2 Nanoparticles under UV-visible Light
* 1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 8
1  Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria
2  School of the Environment, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, USA
3  Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
4  Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria
5  Department of Chemistry, Illinois Institute of Technology, 3101 S Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL, 60616, USA
6  Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, Anyigba, Kogi, Nigeria
7  Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria
8  Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.
9  Department of Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria.
Academic Editor: Bipro Dhar


Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are recalcitrant chemicals with stable carbon-fluorine (C-F) bonds. These complex substances are difficult to degrade; therefore, they persist in the environment, causing potential health effects on humans. This study focused on the photocatalytic degradation and defluorination of PFAS in aqueous water using TiO2 nanoparticles under UV-visible. The biosynthesized TiO2 catalysts at pH 8, 10, and 12 were characterized using XRD, HRTEM, and HRSEM. The XRD patterns of the respective TiO2 nanoparticles at different synthesized pH exhibited similar anatase phases, and it was observed that the crystallite sizes decreased with increasing pH. The HRSEM and HRTEM confirmed the spherical shapes of the produced nanoparticles with the particle size distribution of 12.17 nm, 10.65 nm, and 8.81 nm for the synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles at pH 8, 10, and 12, respectively. The photodegradation and defluorination of PFAS were performed at various initial solution pH of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 under UV irradiation for 150 min. The study showed 95.62 and 56.13 % degradation and defluorination efficiency at pH 2. The degradation and defluorination efficiencies significantly decreased with a rate constant decreasing as the pH solution increases; hence the degradation increases at lower solution pH. Without UV-visible light, the photocatalysis achieved less degradation and defluorination efficiency. The photocatalysis showed that the pH solution and UV irradiation greatly influence the degradation and defluorination. Therefore, TiO2 nanoparticles were effective for the degradation and defluorination of PFAS under UV-visible light which has the influence for treatment of PFAS in wastewater.

Keywords: PFAS; TiO2 nanoparticles; degradation; defluorination; wastewater