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Photocatalyst to degrade organic pollutants

Date: 06 October 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous


Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune have successfully converted the highly unstable perovskite into a highly stable photocatalyst capable of decomposing toxic organic pollutants commonly present in water.



This is the first time perovskite-based composite material as a photocatalyst has been used for the degradation of toxic organic pollutants such as antibiotics, dyes etc. It will be a cost-effective method to produce clean water.



  • The researchers tested the composite’s photocatalytic property to degrade organic pollutants in water  in three organic commonly seen pollutants — methyl orange, methyl red and nitorfurazone antibiotic.

  • The catalyst that becomes active when exposed to sunlight was synthesised by encapsulating nanocrystals of organic-inorganic perovskite inside a metal-organic framework (MOF).

  • When exposed to sunlight, the perovskite nanocrystals release electrons into water thus producing hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl radicals are highly active species that decomposes the organic pollutant.

  • The researchers  utilised the hydrophobic nature of the MOF material to render greater chemical stability to perovskite nanocrystals that form inside the MOF cavities.

  • The composites remained stable in water even when at boiling temperature for 20 days.


The rate of degradation of organic pollutants is not high compared with other standard materials.



  • Compared with other materials, perovskite is inexpensive. It is also possible to scale up its production easily.

  • It is possible to increase the degradation rate by using different perovskite and MOF materials through further research.

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