An introduction to a joint research project is given which deals with the technical application of solar photocatalysis for wastewater detoxification. A non-concentrating thin-film fixed-bed reactor (TFFBR) is used to study applications and areas where a solar-catalytic treatment or recycling of wastewater is possible. This reactor excels by its low cost and an easy-to-build construction using molecular oxygen in air as the oxidising agent. The design parameters of the reactor as well as the process itself have been determined from the reaction kinetics of a model substance, the hydrodynamics and the mass transfer. The treatment of different real wastewaters was successfully carried out, and biologically pre-treated textile wastewater maximum solar degradation rate was about 3 g COD h−1 m−2. A comparison of reaction rates with artifical and solar illumination shows the necessity of outdoor experiments. Due to the reaction rates observed, photocatalysis is suitable as the final stage of purification of biologically or physically pretreated wastewater and will offer a great opportunity for sunrich areas.

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