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FAST MOVING FRONTS - 2008

Santiago Esplugas talks with ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about this month's Fast Moving Front in the field of Environment/Ecology. The author has also sent along images of their work.
Esplugas Article: Degradation of chlorophenols by means of advanced oxidation processes: a general review
Authors: Pera-Titus, M;Garcia-Molina, V;Banos, MA;Gimenez, J;Esplugas , S
Journal: APPL CATAL B-ENVIRON, 47 (4): 219-256 FEB 20 2004
Addresses: Univ Barcelona, Fac Chem, Dept Chem Engn & Met, Marti i Franques 1, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.
Univ Barcelona, Fac Chem, Dept Chem Engn & Met, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.
Univ Barcelona, Fac Chem, Dept Phys Chem, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.

Featured front with corresponding Research Front Map on: " ADVANCED OXIDATION PROCESSES"


Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

I think is because it was a review describing advanced oxidation processes and it was possible to find, in this manuscript, comparisons between different processes applied to remove an important group of water pollutants (chlorophenols).

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In this paper we made an effort to sort through data from different authors and publications in order to present clear conclusions. An important working aspect of our paper was the diligent effort put forth by the Ph.D. students whom Dr. Jaime Giménez and I had working with us at that time. They were really quite brilliant.

Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge, and would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman’s terms?

The paper presents, discusses, and compares available oxidation processes which are used to remove an important group of pollutants from water. I think it could be considered as a synthesis of knowledge regarding chlorophenols abatement by advanced oxidation processes. As a review paper, readers may also have found a summary of the research field in a specific topic (removal of chlorophenols).

How did you become involved in this research and were there any particular problems encountered along the way?

My Ph.D. thesis (University of Barcelona, 1975) was about photochemical reactor engineering and, at that time, I begin the application of photochemistry methods to the abatement of pollutants. In the 1980s, entering into the field of advanced oxidation processes, I began to study the photo-oxidation of pollutants. Some of the main problems in the field are in the necessary chemical-biological analytical tools—detection of intermediates products, toxicity, biodegradability, etc.

Where do you see your research leading in the future?

The future of advanced oxidation processes is in the use of solar radiation as uv-visible energy sources to remove pollutants, and the effort to utilize a combination of these oxidation processes along with the biological and/or membrane processes.

Do you foresee any social or political implications for your research?

This research may lead to the discovery of cheaper and easier ways to remove pollutants and to disinfect water.

Prof. Dr. Santiago Esplugas
Director, Chemical Engineering Department
University of Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Keywords: chlorophenols, water pollutants, oxidation processes, photochemistry methods, photo-oxidation, toxicity, biodegradability, uv-visible energy sources, pollutants.

 



2008 : May 2008 - Fast Moving Fronts : Santiago Esplugas