Microwave cleanup

A greener, microwave method for making photocatalysts for wastewater remediation has been developed by researchers in Australia and Thailand. Photocatalysts, such as titanium dioxide and bismuth vanadate are commonly used to clean wastewater, break down dyes and kill bacteria. However, their production is rather energy intensive. Now, Jun Chen of the University of Wollongong and colleagues there and at Chiang Mai University and the National Nanotechnology Center have sidestepped the high pressure hydrothermal syntheses of bismuth vanadate using microwave radiation. The new method is a simplified, one-step process carried out at 60-90 degrees Celsius, making it industrially viable and safer. It is also much quicker - compared to the standard 6 hours, the new method takes just 16 minutes.