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Light Sensitized Disinfection with Fullerene

Light Sensitized Disinfection with Fullerene
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Author(s): Kyle Moor (Yale University, USA), Samuel Snow (Michigan State University, USA) and Jaehong Kim (Yale University, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 27
Source title: Applying Nanotechnology for Environmental Sustainability
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Sung Hee Joo (University of Miami, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0585-3.ch007


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Fullerene has drawn wide interest across many fields due to its favorable electronic and optical properties, which has spurred its use in a myriad of applications. One of the hallmark properties of fullerene is its ability to act as a photosensitizer and efficiently generate 1O2, a form of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), upon visible irradiation when dispersed in organic solvents. However, the application of fullerene in environmental systems has been somewhat limited due to fullerene's poor solubility in water, which causes individual fullerene molecules to aggregate and form large colloidal species, quenching much of fullerene's 1O2 production. This is unfortunate given that 1O2 provides many advantages as an oxidant compared to ROS produced from typical advanced oxidation processes, such as OH radicals, due to 1O2's greater chemical selectivity and its ability to remain unaffected by the presence of background water constituents, such as natural organic matter and carbonate. Hence, fullerene materials may hold great potential for the oxidation and disinfection of complex waters. Herein, we chronicle the advances that have been made to propel fullerene materials towards use in emerging water disinfection technologies. Two approaches to overcome fullerene aggregation and the subsequent loss of 1O2 production in aqueous systems are herein outlined: 1) addition of hydrophilic functionality to fullerene's cage, creating highly photoactive colloidal fullerenes; and 2) covalent attachment of fullerene to solid supports, which physically prevents fullerene aggregation and allows efficient 1O2 photo-generation. An emphasis is placed on the inactivation of MS2 bacteriophage, a model for human enteric viruses, highlighting the potential of fullerene materials for light-activated disinfection technologies.

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