Centre Technology Transfer CITTRU

Hybrid photocatalysts based on nanoclays for water purification (environment-friendly method of water purification)

Posted by Centre Technology Transfer CITTRUResponsive · Patents for licensing · Germany

Summary of the technology

Water contamination becomes a problem, which may limit civilization progress.
The development of a universal and inexpensive method of water purification is very difficult, because it may contain pollutants of different nature, e.g. heavy metals, organic compounds (pesticides, chlorinated aromatic compounds, antibiotics and surfactants) as well as bacteria. The water purification methods currently in use are based on osmosis, ion-exchange, adsorption, ultrafiltration, distillation and photooxidation. Although multifarious, they have limitations, mainly connected with their high power consumption and low efficiency.

Description of the technology

The subject of the offer covers hybrid photocatalysts based on nanoclays and their application to photocatalytic reactions, in particular in environment-friendly method of water purification. Offered material is based on natural, environmentally friendly minerals (e.g. kaolinite, bentonite, mica). The invention may purify water in a physical absorption process as well as in a photodegradation process, therefore offered materials combine the advantages of the photochemical and the adsorption method of water purification.


The offered method of water purification is based on the photocatalytic degradation of contaminations. Photocatalysts are produced by modification of layered nanoclays with polymers that can absorb both visible and ultraviolet light. Experimental tests have shown that hybrid photocatalysts may efficiently degrade water pollutants as a result of oxidation by singlet oxygen, energy or electron transfer. Moreover, it has been proved that hybrid photocatalysts have the ability to adsorb hydrophobic compounds thereby additionally improving the water purification process. Hybrid photocatalysts are especially well-suited for the photodegradation of pesticides, aromatic compounds (e.g. chlorinated aromatic compounds), phenols and cyanides.

Main advantages of its use

  • At the same time they are capable of purifying water in a physical absorption process as well as in a photodegradation process, therefore they combine the advantages of the photochemical and the adsorption method of water purification
  • Most of the currently applied photocatalysts are based on low-molecular organic compounds, which are toxic and difficult to be removed from the photoreaction environment. Also, they often cannot be used in an aqueous environment, because of their insolubility. In comparison the key features of the hybrid photocatalysts, that are the subject of the presented offer, are as follows:
  • Their photochemical components may be chromophores of natural origin (e.g. porphyrin derivatives)
  • They are based on non-toxic natural minerals (kaolinite, bentonite, mica, talc, which are layered nanoclays)
  • They can be used in an aqueous environment
  • They self-separate from water in the sedimentation process, so that they can be easily removed by filtration or decantation


  • Hybrid photocatalysts based on layered nanoclays can become an attractive alternative method of water purification, particulary suitable for industrial plants using water in their technological process, e.g. in power, steel, chemical, pharmaceutial or food-processing plants. Moreover, they can be tailored for specific applications (pollutants).

Additional information (attached documents)

Additional information (attached documents)

Related keywords

  • Soil and Groundwater Pollution
  • Industrial Water Treatment
  • Municipal Water Treatment
  • Wastewater Recycling
  • Water in Buildings
  • Plant Design and Maintenance
  • Process Plant Engineering
  • Chemicals and Materials
  • Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems
  • Other pollution and recycling related
  • water purification
  • water pollution
  • photocatalysts
  • nanoclays
  • environment protection

About Centre Technology Transfer CITTRU

Technology Transfer Office from Germany

Centre for Technology Transfer CITTRU is a part of Jagiellonian University, whose role is to promote university research, to support innovation and to create cooperation with the business. CITTRU main task is to offer the scientific achievements of the Jagiellonian University in the market by providing legal protection, licensing, sale of intellectual property rights, creation of academic business, coordination of company-ordered research projects, etc. Currently promoted technologies are mainly focused on new materials science, chemistry, pharma and medical technology.

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