Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Guillermo Rincon

Second Advisor

Enrique La Motta

Third Advisor

Satish Bastola


As human population becomes diverse, the need for sustainable, inexpensive, scalable, and decentralized water treatment technologies to supplement or replace conventional treatment methods are important, especially to satisfy the need of small, rural communities for safe drinking water. These challenges can be somewhat met with the use of semiconductor photocatalysis, especially if the process is driven by visible light energy. Visible-light-active (VLA) photocatalysis can be effectively applied in disinfection of drinking water. In comparison to traditional, energy-intensive, physical and chemical disinfection methods, VLA photocatalysis is capable of providing high disinfection efficiency with the use of cheaper energy, no harmful by-products, and no addition of chemicals. Doped with noble metals, some photocatalysts can be improved to react under visible light, producing in-situ reactive oxidative species (ROS) to disinfect water. In this thesis, experiments show that the noble metal based photocatalyst Ag/TiO2/AgBr is promising in neutralizing coliform bacteria under visible light.


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