Design of an Air-Sparged Tubular Photocatalytic Reactor for the Degradation of Methylene Blue: Mass-Transfer Limitation Studies
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
An alternative process for the removal of organic pollutants in aqueous systems is photocatalysis. The challenges hindering its industrial use are electron-hole recombination and mass-transfer limitations. In order to address these problems, the objective of this study is to introduce air by sparging, and design an air-sparged photocatalytic reactor using titanium dioxide immobilized on borosilicate glass. The performance of the reactor on the removal of the model pollutant, methylene blue (MB), was evaluated and compared against the reactor operated without sparging. The effect of mass-transfer limitations on reactor performance was also investigated by regression using a Langmuir-type model equation. The sparged photocatalytic reactor was able to degrade 57% MB in 2 hours, an improvement of 40% compared to no sparging, and is comparable to similar reactors in literature, but with the advantage of using less expensive materials of construction and simpler immobilization technique. Mass-transfer limitation studies showed a good fitting of the initial reaction rate r, with r = 0.1399Q / (0.6120 + Q) for the sparged operation, and Q is the volumetric flowrate of water (L/min). The model also shows that the reactor operates near the reaction-limited regime, and that the extent of mass-transfer limitation effects was reduced by the present reactor.
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