The pathway towards photoelectrocatalytic water disinfection: Review and prospects of a powerful sustainable tool

Sergi Garcia-Segura, Omotayo A. Arotiba, Enric Brillas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Photoelectrocatalysis is a hybrid photon/electron-driven process that benefits from the synergistic effects of both processes to enhance and stabilize the generation of disinfecting oxidants. Pho-toelectrocatalysis is an easy to operate technology that can be scaled-up or scaled-down for various water treatment applications as low-cost decentralized systems. This review article describes the fundamentals of photoelectrocatalysis, applied to water disinfection to ensure access to clean water for all as a sustainable development goal. Advances in reactor engineering design that integrate light-deliv-ery and electrochemical system requirements are presented, with a description of photo-electrode ma-terial advances, including doping, nano-decoration, and nanostructure control. Disinfection and cell inactivation are described using different model microorganisms such as E. coli, Mycobacteria, Le-gionella, etc., as well the fungus Candida parapsilosis, with relevant figures of merit. The key advances in the elucidation of bacterial inactivation mechanisms by photoelectrocatalytic treatments are presented and knowledge gaps identified. Finally, prospects and further research needs are outlined, to define the pathway towards the future of photoelectrocatalytic disinfection technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number921
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Candida parapsilosis
  • Decentralized disinfection
  • Drinking water treatment
  • Electrochemical advanced oxidation process
  • Escherichia coli
  • Mycobacteria
  • Photoca-talyisis
  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • TiO2
  • UV light and sunlight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The pathway towards photoelectrocatalytic water disinfection: Review and prospects of a powerful sustainable tool'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this