Photocatalytic treatment of natural waters. Reality or hype? The case of cyanotoxins remediation

Albert Serrà, Laetitia Philippe, François Perreault, Sergi Garcia-Segura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


This review compiles recent advances and challenges in the photocatalytic treatment of natural water by analyzing the remediation of cyanotoxins. The review frames the treatment need based on the occurrence, geographical distribution, and legislation of cyanotoxins in drinking water while highlighting the underestimated global risk of cyanotoxins. Next, the fundamental principles of photocatalytic treatment for remediating cyanotoxins and the complex degradation pathway for the most widespread cyanotoxins are presented. The state-of-the-art and recent advances on photocatalytic treatment processes are critically discussed, especially the modification strategies involving TiO2 and the primary operational conditions that determine the scalability and integration of photocatalytic reactors. The relevance of light sources and light delivery strategies are shown, with emphasis on novel biomimicry materials design. Thereafter, the seldomly-addressed role of water-matrix components is thoroughly and critically explored by including natural organic matter and inorganic species to provide future directions in designing highly efficient strategies and scalable reactors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116543
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Advanced oxidation processes
  • Contaminants of emerging concern
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Photo-assisted water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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