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Utilization of solar energy for wastewater treatment: challenges and progressive research trends

Reji Kumar, Rajamony and Mahendran, Samykano and Pandey, A. K. and Kalidasan, B and Imtiaz, Ali Laghari and Kothari, Richa and Abusorrah, Abdullah M. and Sharma, Kamal and Tyagi, V. V. (2021) Utilization of solar energy for wastewater treatment: challenges and progressive research trends. Journal of Environmental Management, 297. pp. 1-23. ISSN 0301-4797

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This article offers a trend of inventions and implementations of photocatalysis process, desalination technologies and solar disinfection techniques adapted particularly for treatment of industrial and domestic wastewater. Photocatalysis treatment of wastewater using solar energy is a promising renewable solution to reduce stresses on global water crisis. Rendering to the United Nation Environment Programme, 1/3 of world population live in water-stressed countries, while by 2025 about 2/3 of world population will face water scarcity. Major pollutants exhibited from numerous sources are critically discussed with focus on potential environmental impacts & hazards. Treatment of wastewater by photocatalysis technique, solar thermal electrochemical process, solar desalination of brackish water and solar advanced oxidation process have been presented and systematically analysed with challenges. Both heterogenous and homogenous photocatalysis techniques employed for wastewater treatment are critically reviewed. For treating domestic wastewater, solar desalination technologies adopted for purifying brackish water into potable water is presented along with key challenges and remedies. Advanced oxidation process using solar energy for degradation of organic pollutant is an important technique to be reviewed due to their effectiveness in wastewater treatment process. Present article focused on three key issues i.e. major pollutants, wastewater treatment techniques and environmental benefits of using solar power for removal of pollutants. The review also provides close ideas on further research needs and major concerns. Drawbacks associated with conventional wastewater treatment options and direct solar energy-based wastewater treatment with energy storage systems to make it convenient during day and night both listed. Although, energy storage systems increase the overall cost of the wastewater treatment plant it also increases the overall efficiency of the system on environmental cost. Cost-efficient wastewater treatment methods using solar power would significantly ensure effective water source utilization, thereby contributing towards sustainable development goals.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Indexed by Scopus
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wastewater treatment; Solar energy; Photocatalysis; Solar desalination; Advanced oxidation process
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculty/Division: College of Engineering
Depositing User: Dr. Mahendran Samykano
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2021 05:48
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2021 05:48
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