The solar water disinfection method (SODIS) was modified by the addition of a photocatalytic layer of titania on the interior surface of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and acrylic bottles. Titania was solvent deposited on the interior of commercially available PET bottles, as well as bottles that were constructed from acrylic. Uncoated and titania-coated acrylic bottles removed 3,000,000–5,000,000 colony forming units per milliliter of K12 E. coli from 670 mL of contaminated water in 40 min of solar irradiance. After five hours of sunlight exposure, the concentration of 10 ppm methyl orange (a representative organic water contaminant), was reduced by 61% using the titania-coated acrylic bottles. The concentration of 87 ppb microcystin-LR (a representative algal toxin) was reduced by 70% after 7 hours of sunlight exposure in the titania-coated acrylic bottles. Acrylic is an effective alternative to PET for use in the SODIS method due to its greater UV transparency. The addition of titania to PET and acrylic bottles confers the ability to remove chemical contaminants in addition to inactivating microbiological contaminants.
Keywords: bacteria, chemical contamination, photocatalysis, SODIS, titania