Designing cost-effective materials for photocatalytic water treatment

Water pollution from industry, farming and human sanitation is an acute problem. Biological and organic pollutants, in particular polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pose severe problems. A practical solution to water treatment is photocatalysis, which breaks down molecular pollutants rather than extracting them from water, hence is very effective.

Using a combination of experimental and modelling approaches, we propose:

(i) developing a novel cheap and sustainable method to produce titanium dioxide (TiO2) photocatalysts and

(ii) improving the efficiency of TiO2 photocatalysts for breakdown of aromatic pollutants.

The former will be achieved by using bioinspired methods for the synthesis of TiO2, and the latter by designing molecular surface modifiers to enhance the binding of aromatic pollutants, prior to photocatalytic destruction.

Outreach and impact

A person cups a candle in their hands
Manasi wrote a blog about the wonders and dangers of candle soot

Read Manasi’s blog here: Manasi R. Mulay

Manasi is an author of a review paper about candle soot. You can read the paper here.

And you can read Manasi’s blog about candle soot here





Manasi Mulay


Dr Natalia Martsinovich

Lecturer in Theoretical Chemistry


Prof Siddharth Patwardhan

Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Biological Engineering