Application of Surface-Modified Electrode Materials in Wastewater Treatment

Onoyivwe Monday Ama, Khotso Khoele, Penny Poomani Govender, Suprakas Sinha Ray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Photo-active metal oxides (PMOs) have outstanding physical and chemical properties which are ideal to disintegrate wastewater pollutants. Titanium oxide (TiO2) initially found popularity in wastewater treatment. TiO2 utilization on wastewater degradation was attributed particularly to its wider bandgap. Nonetheless, TiO2 retains antibacterial activity during the application and that renders it to rapid recombination of photogenerated electron–hole pairs. In a subsequent search of alternative PMO, zinc oxide (ZnO) was obtained, and it was found to have a wider bandgap equivalent to that of TiO2. However, ZnO suffers from photo-corrosion and poor response to visible light. This rigorously proved that an application of a single PMO leads to both inefficiency and ineffectiveness in wastewater treatment. This phenomenon necessitates the hybridization of photocatalysts and improvement of their surface properties. The present chapter details organic pollutants which are found in wastewater and the methods which are used to remove them from the wastewater. Further discussions are made intensively on photocatalysis and advance oxidation methods. Furthermore, photocatalysts and their advancements are clearly stated and elaborated. Finally, surface-modified photoanodes and their applications using the photoelectrochemical technique have been thoroughly explained. From overall analyses, several deductions have been documented: POMs on their singular existence are packed with pros and cons, and that makes wastewater treatment dynamic.AOMs, particularly the photoelectrochemical technique, are worthwhile for the degradation of wastewater pollutants.Factors that affect degradation processes on wastewater pollutants include light captivation properties, reduction and oxidation rates on the surface by the photogenerated electrons and holes and a recombination rate of such charges.Surface modification of photoanodes is carried through nanostructured materials, the addition of metals particularly noble ones such as gold (Au), silver (Ag), platinum (Pt), and through the use of novel titanium alloys and cubic double-perovskite.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Materials
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameEngineering Materials
ISSN (Print)1612-1317
ISSN (Electronic)1868-1212


  • Applications
  • Dyes
  • Environment
  • Photoanodes
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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