First, a continuous flow TiO2/UV reactor was designed and developed in order to examine E. coli disinfection effect using UV light. The optimum conditions for disinfection such as flow rate, light intensity, TiO2 concentration, initial E. coli concentration were examined. The results are as follow (i) The use of the quartz device and TiO2 (anatase) resulted in killing of E. coil within minutes. (ii) Photocatalytic disinfection with UV light in the presence of TiO2 more effectively killed E. coli than UV or TiO2 adsorption only. (iii) As flow rate increased, the survival ratio of E. coli decreased, but over 3 L/min of flow rate, the efficiency was limited. (iv) E. coli survival ratio decreased linearly with increasing UV light intensity. (v) The dosage of TiO2 affected the E. coli disinfection efficiency, and above 0.1 wt% TiO2 concentration, the disinfection was less effective because TiO2 particles may result in screening off the light. (ri) The disinfection reaction follows first-order kinetics.
Secondly, outdoor experiments with natural sunlight instead of artificial UV light in TiO2 reactors were also conducted to investigate alternative energy source applicability on E. coli disinfection. It is found that the presence of clouds in the sky markedly increased the time required for killing E. coli and the bacteria cells also disappeared with a first-order kinetics. On the basis of these experimental observations, the disinfection of E. coli using TiO2 under solar light irradiation can be a feasible application of the advanced oxidation process.