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Ayse Hazal Pekcan Cetin, Speaker at Chemistry Conferences
Bogazici University, Turkey
Title : Particle interactions during solar TiO2 photocatalytic treatment of organic matter


Metal oxide nanoparticles have been used in several systems as photocatalysts recently. Light initiated degradation of the organic compounds is one of the most important application of these photocatalytic systems. Photocatalytic degradation of organic compounds in waters and wastewaters has been widely studied for many decades.  TiO2 is the most widely used photocatalyst due to its decent photocatalytic properties, ease to production and low cost. Major disadvantage of TiO2 photocatalyst is its bandgap energy (Ebg=3.2 eV, ??390 nm) for solar light activation since only 5% of solar light is UV light that can produce equal energy to TiO2 band gap energy. Therefore, effective solar light utilization can be achieved with modifications through doping and/or coupling with other semiconductors such as ZnO. As an organic compound, natural organic matter degradation by photocatalysis has awoken interest for treatment systems and studied extremely in the last decade. Recently, Bekbolet and co-workers has been working on photocatalytic degradation of natural organic matter under solar irradiation, aiming to improve photocatalytic degradation yield with second generation photocatalysts. Beside the treatment efficiency, interactions between organic matter and metal oxides during photochemical reactions has also importance to understand possible further environmental applications. Formation of aggregates, a particle comprising of strongly bound or fused particles, and/or agglomerates, a collection of weakly bound particles, changes the system dynamics, so investigation of these interactions is essential. Furthermore, introduction of these particles to natural waters brings the question of “behavior nanoparticles in aqueous medium” that deserves attention to be elucidated in terms of diverse reactivities leading to deterioration of water quality. Elucidation of the interactions between metal oxide nanoparticles and natural organic matter will be done by using TiO2 P25 as model nanoparticle and Suwannee River natural organic matter as organic matter. Characteristics of the binary system prior to, during and under post treatment conditions will be examined by UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy and physico-chemical properties will be assessed by particle size and zeta potential analysis and sedimentation experiments. The major outcome of the project would be to bring novel information to the understanding of the complex colloidal system operating under light leading to degradation of organic matrix via photolytic and photocatalytic oxidation pathways.


Ayse Hazal Pekcan Cetin obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from the Chemistry Department of Istanbul University in 2012. She received her M.Sc. degree entitled as “Montmorillonite and modified montmorillonite supported ZnO catalysts” from the Chemistry Department of the Institute of Graduate Studies in Sciences and Engineering of Bogazici University in 2015. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate and Research Assistant at the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Bogazici University. Her research interests include preparation and activity testing of novel photocatalysts, water treatment by advanced oxidation processes i.e. homogeneous and heterogeneous systems, photolytic/photocatalytic removal of natural organic matter specifically humic substances and UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopic characterization of organic matter.