University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Location of Thesis Examination

Room 4185 Support Services Building


Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Hugo de Lasa


The energy efficiency of the photocatalytic conversion of gas-phase organic pollutants was studied using a redesigned and scaled up Photo-CREC-Air reactor. This photocatalytic unit has the unique feature of allowing an accurate analysis of the irradiation field by establishing macroscopic balances and in-situ measurements. The Photo-CREC-Air reactor operates in a batch mode with the photocatalyst supported by a stainless steel mesh being irradiated by 8 UV lamps. Kinetic modelling, Quantum Yields (QY) and Photochemical Thermodynamic Efficiency Factors (PTEF) were calculated using data for acetone , acetaldehyde and isopropanol photocatalytic degradation in ambient air utilizing a Degussa P25 photocatalyst. It is shown that the Photo-CREC-Air reactor is suitable for the determination of kinetic and adsorption parameters, given design with excellent irradiation usage and fluid-catalyst contact. In this respect, quantum yields for acetone, acetaldehyde and isopropanol supersede the value of 1 (equivalent to 100%) with PTEFs remaining in both cases below the level of 1 as required by thermodynamics.