Photocatalytic inactivation of Escherichia coli bacteria in water using low pressure plasma deposited TiO2 cellulose fabric

Nicoletta De Vietro, Antonio Tursi, Amerigo Beneduci, Francesco Chidichimo, Antonella Milella, Francesco Fracassi, Efthalia Chatzisymeon, Giuseppe Chidichimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fabrics obtained from cellulose spinning, extracted from Spanish broom, were coated with TiO2 film, through the low pressure plasma sputtering technique, in order to get antibacterial activity. The obtained fabrics were used for the photocatalytic degradation of Escherichia coli, by irradiation with UV-light emitting diodes (UV-LED), in a batch photocatalytic reactor. Before and after functionalization treatments, cellulosic substrates were chemically characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses. Water Contact Angle (WCA) measurements allowed to obtain information about the hydrophilicity of the materials, while their antibacterial efficiency was determined at several initial concentrations (from 103 up to 108 CFU/mL) of bacteria in distilled, bottled water and synthetic wastewater. It was found that photocatalytic reactions were capable of achieving up to 100% bacterial inactivation in 1 h of treatment, following a pseudo-first order kinetic model. No bacterial regrowth was observed after photocatalytic treatments in almost all experimental conditions. In contrast, during photolytic treatment (i.e. in the absence of the TiO2 coated fabrics) bacteria recovered their initial concentration after 3 h in the dark. Finally, the reusability of the plasma modified fibers to inactivate bacteria was studied.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotochemical & Photobiological Sciences
Early online date2 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 May 2019


  • Escherichia coli
  • titania catalyst
  • Low pressure plasma sputtering
  • Titanium dioxide
  • water disinfection
  • advanced oxidation


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