Today, a major issue about water pollution is the residual dyes from different sources (e.g., textile industries, paper and pulp industries, dye and dye intermediates industries, pharmaceutical industries, tannery and craft bleaching industries, etc.), and a wide variety of persistent organic pollutants have been introduced into our natural water resources or wastewater treatment systems. In fact, it is highly toxic and hazardous to the living organism; thus, the removal of these organic contaminants prior to discharge into the environment is essential. Varieties of techniques have been employed to degrade those organic contaminants and advanced heterogeneous photocatalysis involving zinc oxide (ZnO) photocatalyst appears to be one of the most promising technology. In recent years, ZnO photocatalyst have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary characteristics. The high efficiency of ZnO photocatalyst in heterogeneous photocatalysis reaction requires a suitable architecture that minimizes electron loss during excitation state and maximizes photon absorption. In order to further improve the immigration of photo-induced charge carriers during excitation state, considerable effort has to be exerted to further improve the heterogeneous photocatalysis under UV/visible/solar illumination. Lately, interesting and unique features of metal doping or binary oxide photocatalyst system have gained much attention and became favourite research matter among various groups of scientists. It was noted that the properties of this metal doping or binary oxide photocatalyst system primarily depend on the nature of the preparation method and the role of optimum dopants content incorporated into the ZnO photocatalyst. Therefore, this paper presents a critical review of recent achievements in the modification of ZnO photocatalyst for organic contaminants degradation.
In recent years, adsorption science and technology for water and wastewater treatment has attracted substantial attention from the scientific community. However, the number of publications containing inconsistent concepts is increasing. Many publications either reiterate previously discussed mistakes or create new mistakes. The inconsistencies are reflected by the increasing publication of certain types of article in this field, including “ ”, “ ”, “ ”, “ ”, “ ”, and “ . This article aims to discuss (1) the inaccurate use of technical terms, (2) the problem associated with quantities for measuring adsorption performance, (3) the important roles of the adsorbate and adsorbent p , (4) mistakes related to the study of adsorption kinetics, isotherms, and thermodynamics, (5) several problems related to adsorption mechanisms, (6) inconsistent data points in experimental data and model fitting, (7) mistakes in measuring the specific surface area of an adsorbent, and (8) other mistakes found in the literature. Furthermore, correct expressions and original citations of the relevant models (i.e., adsorption kinetics and isotherms) are provided. The authors hope that this work will be helpful for readers, researchers, reviewers, and editors who are interested in the field of adsorption studies.
This review identifies understudied areas of emerging contaminant (EC) research in wastewaters and the environment, and recommends direction for future monitoring. Non-regulated trace organic ECs including pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and personal care products are focused on due to ongoing policy initiatives and the expectant broadening of environmental legislation. These ECs are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment, mainly derived from the discharge of municipal wastewater effluents. Their presence is of concern due to the possible ecological impact (e.g., endocrine disruption) to biota within the environment. To better understand their fate in wastewaters and in the environment, a standardised approach to sampling is needed. This ensures representative data is attained and facilitates a better understanding of spatial and temporal trends of EC occurrence. During wastewater treatment, there is a lack of suspended particulate matter analysis due to further preparation requirements and a lack of good analytical approaches. This results in the under-reporting of several ECs entering wastewater treatment works (WwTWs) and the aquatic environment. Also, sludge can act as a concentrating medium for some chemicals during wastewater treatment. The majority of treated sludge is applied directly to agricultural land without analysis for ECs. As a result there is a paucity of information on the fate of ECs in soils and consequently, there has been no driver to investigate the toxicity to exposed terrestrial organisms. Therefore a more holistic approach to environmental monitoring is required, such that the fate and impact of ECs in all exposed environmental compartments are studied. The traditional analytical approach of applying targeted screening with low resolution mass spectrometry (e.g., triple quadrupoles) results in numerous chemicals such as transformation products going undetected. These can exhibit similar toxicity to the parent EC, demonstrating the necessity of using an integrated analytical approach which compliments targeted and non-targeted screening with biological assays to measure ecological impact. With respect to current toxicity testing protocols, failure to consider the enantiomeric distribution of chiral compounds found in the environment, and the possible toxicological differences between enantiomers is concerning. Such information is essential for the development of more accurate environmental risk assessment.
Partial nitritation/anammox (PN/A) has been one of the most innovative developments in biological wastewater treatment in recent years. With its discovery in the 1990s a completely new way of ammonium removal from wastewater became available. Over the past decade many technologies have been developed and studied for their applicability to the PN/A concept and several have made it into full-scale. With the perspective of reaching 100 full-scale installations in operation worldwide by 2014 this work presents a summary of PN/A technologies that have been successfully developed, implemented and optimized for high-strength ammonium wastewaters with low C:N ratios and elevated temperatures. The data revealed that more than 50% of all PN/A installations are sequencing batch reactors, 88% of all plants being operated as single-stage systems, and 75% for sidestream treatment of municipal wastewater. Additionally an in-depth survey of 14 full-scale installations was conducted to evaluate practical experiences and report on operational control and troubleshooting. Incoming solids, aeration control and nitrate built up were revealed as the main operational difficulties. The information provided gives a unique/new perspective throughout all the major technologies and discusses the remaining obstacles.
Providing clean and affordable water to meet human needs is a grand challenge of the 21st century. Worldwide, water supply struggles to keep up with the fast growing demand, which is exacerbated by population growth, global climate change, and water quality deterioration. The need for technological innovation to enable integrated water management cannot be overstated. Nanotechnology holds great potential in advancing water and wastewater treatment to improve treatment efficiency as well as to augment water supply through safe use of unconventional water sources. Here we review recent development in nanotechnology for water and wastewater treatment. The discussion covers candidate nanomaterials, properties and mechanisms that enable the applications, advantages and limitations as compared to existing processes, and barriers and research needs for commercialization. By tracing these technological advances to the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, the present review outlines the opportunities and limitations to further capitalize on these unique properties for sustainable water management.
Plastic contamination is an increasing environmental problem in marine systems where it has spread globally to even the most remote habitats. Plastic pieces in smaller size scales, microplastics (particles <5 mm), have reached high densities (e.g., 100 000 items per m ) in waters and sediments, and are interacting with organisms and the environment in a variety of ways. Early investigations of freshwater systems suggest microplastic presence and interactions are equally as far reaching as are being observed in marine systems. Microplastics are being detected in freshwaters of Europe, North America, and Asia, and the first organismal studies are finding that freshwater fauna across a range of feeding guilds ingest microplastics. Drawing from the marine literature and these initial freshwater studies, we review the issue of microplastics in freshwater systems to summarise current understanding, identify knowledge gaps and suggest future research priorities. Evidence suggests that freshwater systems may share similarities to marine systems in the types of forces that transport microplastics (e.g. surface currents); the prevalence of microplastics (e.g. numerically abundant and ubiquitous); the approaches used for detection, identification and quantification (e.g. density separation, filtration, sieving and infrared spectroscopy); and the potential impacts (e.g. physical damage to organisms that ingest them, chemical transfer of toxicants). Differences between freshwater and marine systems include the closer proximity to point sources in freshwaters, the typically smaller sizes of freshwater systems, and spatial and temporal differences in the mixing/transport of particles by physical forces. These differences between marine and freshwater systems may lead to differences in the type of microplastics present. For example, rivers may show a predictable pattern in microplastic characteristics (size, shape, relative abundance) based on waste sources (e.g. household vs. industrial) adjacent to the river, and distance downstream from a point source. Given that the study of microplastics in freshwaters has only arisen in the last few years, we are still limited in our understanding of 1) their presence and distribution in the environment; 2) their transport pathways and factors that affect distributions; 3) methods for their accurate detection and quantification; 4) the extent and relevance of their impacts on aquatic life. We also do not know how microplastics might transfer from freshwater to terrestrial ecosystems, and we do not know if and how they may affect human health. This is concerning because human populations have a high dependency on freshwaters for drinking water and for food resources. Increasing the level of understanding in these areas is essential if we are to develop appropriate policy and management tools to address this emerging issue.
The goal of the current article is to update new findings in membrane fouling and emerging fouling mitigation strategies reported in recent years (post 2010) as a follow-up to our previous review published in Water Research (2009). According to a systematic review of the literature, membrane bioreactors (MBRs) are still actively investigated in the field of wastewater treatment. Notably, membrane fouling remains the most challenging issue in MBR operation and attracts considerable attention in MBR studies. In this review, we summarized the updated information on foulants composition and characteristics in MBRs, which greatly improves our understanding of fouling mechanisms. Furthermore, the emerging fouling control strategies (e.g., mechanically assisted aeration scouring, in-situ chemical cleaning, enzymatic and bacterial degradation of foulants, electrically assisted fouling mitigation, and nanomaterial-based membranes) are comprehensively reviewed. As a result, it is found that the fundamental understanding of dynamic changes in membrane foulants during a long-term operation is essential for the development and implementation of fouling control methods. Recently developed strategies for membrane fouling control denoted that the improvement of membrane performance is not our ultimate and only goal, less energy consumption and more green/sustainable fouling control ways are more promising to be developed and thus applied in the future. Overall, such a literature review not only demonstrates current challenges and research needs for scientists working in the area of MBR technologies, but also can provide more useful recommendations for industrial communities based on the related application cases.
Antibiotic resistance has become a major health concern; thus, there is a growing interest in exploring the occurrence of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment as well as the factors that contribute to their emergence. Aquatic ecosystems provide an ideal setting for the acquisition and spread of ARGs due to the continuous pollution by antimicrobial compounds derived from anthropogenic activities. We investigated, therefore, the pollution level of a broad range of antibiotics and ARGs released from hospital and urban wastewaters, their removal through a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and their presence in the receiving river. Several antimicrobial compounds were detected in all water samples collected. Among antibiotic families, fluoroquinolones were detected at the highest concentration, especially in hospital effluent samples. Although good removal efficiency by treatment processes was observed for several antimicrobial compounds, most antibiotics were still present in WWTP effluents. The results also revealed that copy numbers of ARGs, such as (resistance to β-lactams), (reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones), (resistance to macrolides), I (resistance to sulfonamides) and W (resistance to tetracyclines), were detected at the highest concentrations in hospital effluent and WWTP influent samples. Although there was a significant reduction in copy numbers of these ARGs in WWTP effluent samples, this reduction was not uniform across analyzed ARGs. Relative concentration of and genes decreased as a result of wastewater treatment, whereas increased in the case of , I and genes. The incomplete removal of antibiotics and ARGs in WWTP severely affected the receiving river, where both types of emerging pollutants were found at higher concentration in downstream waters than in samples collected upstream from the discharge point. Taken together, our findings demonstrate a widespread occurrence of antibiotics and ARGs in urban and hospital wastewater and how these effluents, even after treatment, contribute to the spread of these emerging pollutants in the aquatic environment.
Urban wastewater treatment plants (UWTPs) are among the main sources of antibiotics' release into various compartments of the environment worldwide. The aim of the present paper is to critically review the fate and removal of various antibiotics in wastewater treatment, focusing on different processes ( biological processes, advanced treatment technologies and disinfection) in view of the current concerns related to the induction of toxic effects in aquatic and terrestrial organisms, and the occurrence of antibiotics that may promote the selection of antibiotic resistance genes and bacteria, as reported in the literature. Where available, estimations of the removal of antibiotics are provided along with the main treatment steps. The removal efficiency during wastewater treatment processes varies and is mainly dependent on a combination of antibiotics' physicochemical properties and the operating conditions of the treatment systems. As a result, the application of alternative techniques including membrane processes, activated carbon adsorption, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), and combinations of them, which may lead to higher removals, may be necessary before the final disposal of the effluents or their reuse for irrigation or groundwater recharge. ► Urban wastewaters are the main sources of antibiotics' release in the environment. ► The removal efficiency of treatment processes toward antibiotics is presented. ► Treatments discussed include biological and chemical processes. ► The removal efficiency is dependent on antibiotics’ physicochemical properties. ► The removal efficiency is dependent on the treatment process operating conditions.
In recent decades, increased domestic, agricultural and industrial activities worldwide have led to the release of various pollutants, such as toxic heavy metals, inorganic anions, organics, micropollutants and nutrients into the aquatic environment. The removal of these wide varieties of pollutants for better quality of water for various activities is an emerging issue and a robust and eco-friendly treatment technology is needed for the purpose. It is well known that cellulosic materials can be obtained from various natural sources and can be employed as cheap adsorbents. Their adsorption capacities for heavy metal ions and other aquatic pollutants can be significantly affected upon chemical treatment. In general, chemically modified cellulose exhibits higher adsorption capacities for various aquatic pollutants than their unmodified forms. Numerous chemicals have been used for cellulose modifications which include mineral and organic acids, bases, oxidizing agent, organic compounds, etc. This paper reviews the current state of research on the use of cellulose, a naturally occurring material, its modified forms and their efficacy as adsorbents for the removal of various pollutants from waste streams. In this review, an extensive list of various cellulose-based adsorbents from literature has been compiled and their adsorption capacities under various conditions for the removal of various pollutants, as available in the literature, are presented along with highlighting and discussing the key advancement on the preparation of cellulose-based adsorbents. It is evident from the literature survey presented herein that modified cellulose-based adsorbents exhibit good potential for the removal of various aquatic pollutants. However, still there is a need to find out the practical utility of these adsorbents on a commercial scale, leading to the improvement of pollution control.
The pollutants classified as "persistent organic pollutants (POPs)", are being subject to high concern among the scientific community due to their persistence in the environment. TiO 2 -based photocatalytic process has shown a great potential as a low-cost, environmentally friendly and sustainable treatment technology to remove POPs in sewage to overcome the shortcomings of the conventional technologies. However, this technology suffers from some main technical barriers that impede its commercialization, i.e., the inefficient exploitation of visible light, low adsorption capacity for hydrophobic contaminants, uniform distribution in aqueous suspension and post-recovery of the TiO 2 particles after water treatment. To improve the photocatalytic efficiency of TiO 2 , many studies have been carried out with the aim of eliminating the limitations mentioned above. This review summarizes the recently developed countermeasures for improving the performance of TiO 2 -based photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants with respect to the visible-light photocatalytic activity, adsorption capacity, stability and separability. The performance of various TiO 2 -based photocatalytic processes for POPs degradation and the underlying mechanisms were summarized and discussed. The future research needs for TiO 2 -based technology are suggested accordingly. This review will significantly improve our understanding of the process of photocatalytic degradation of POPs by TiO 2 -based particles and provide useful information to scientists and engineers who work in this field.
The pollutants classified as “persistent organic pollutants (POPs)”, are being subject to high concern among the scientific community due to their persistence in the environment. TiO -based photocatalytic process has shown a great potential as a low-cost, environmentally friendly and sustainable treatment technology to remove POPs in sewage to overcome the shortcomings of the conventional technologies. However, this technology suffers from some main technical barriers that impede its commercialization, i.e., the inefficient exploitation of visible light, low adsorption capacity for hydrophobic contaminants, uniform distribution in aqueous suspension and post-recovery of the TiO particles after water treatment. To improve the photocatalytic efficiency of TiO , many studies have been carried out with the aim of eliminating the limitations mentioned above. This review summarizes the recently developed countermeasures for improving the performance of TiO -based photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants with respect to the visible-light photocatalytic activity, adsorption capacity, stability and separability. The performance of various TiO -based photocatalytic processes for POPs degradation and the underlying mechanisms were summarized and discussed. The future research needs for TiO -based technology are suggested accordingly. This review will significantly improve our understanding of the process of photocatalytic degradation of POPs by TiO -based particles and provide useful information to scientists and engineers who work in this field.
This study provides an overview of established processes as well as recent progress in emerging technologies for advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). In addition to a discussion of major reaction mechanisms and formation of by-products, data on energy efficiency were collected in an extensive analysis of studies reported in the peer-reviewed literature enabling a critical comparison of various established and emerging AOPs based on electrical energy per order (E ) values. Despite strong variations within reviewed E values, significant differences could be observed between three groups of AOPs: (1) O (often considered as AOP-like process), O /H O , O /UV, UV/H O , UV/persulfate, UV/chlorine, and electron beam represent median E values of 100 kWh/m and were therefore considered as not (yet) energy efficient AOPs. Specific evaluation of 147 data points for the UV/H O process revealed strong effects of operational conditions on reported E values. Besides water type and quality, a major influence was observed for process capacity (lab-vs. pilot-vs. full-scale applications) and, in case of UV-based processes, of the lamp type. However, due to the contribution of other factors, correlation of E values with specific water quality parameters such as UV absorbance and dissolved organic carbon were not substantial. Also, correlations between E and compound reactivity with OH-radicals were not significant (photolytically active compounds were not considered). Based on these findings, recommendations regarding the use of the E concept, including the upscaling of laboratory results, were derived.
Over the past 20 years, zero-valent iron (ZVI) has been extensively applied for the remediation/treatment of groundwater and wastewater contaminated with various organic and inorganic pollutants. Based on the intrinsic properties of ZVI and the reactions that occur in the process of contaminants sequestration by ZVI, this review summarizes the limitations of ZVI technology and the countermeasures developed in the past two decades (1994–2014). The major limitations of ZVI include low reactivity due to its intrinsic passive layer, narrow working pH, reactivity loss with time due to the precipitation of metal hydroxides and metal carbonates, low selectivity for the target contaminant especially under oxic conditions, limited efficacy for treatment of some refractory contaminants and passivity of ZVI arising from certain contaminants. The countermeasures can be divided into seven categories: pretreatment of pristine ZVI to remove passive layer, fabrication of nano-sized ZVI to increase the surface area, synthesis of ZVI-based bimetals taking advantage of the catalytic ability of the noble metal, employing physical methods to enhance the performance of ZVI, coupling ZVI with other adsorptive materials and chemically enhanced ZVI technology, as well as methods to recover the reactivity of aged ZVI. The key to improving the rate of contaminants removal by ZVI and broadening the applicable pH range is to enhance ZVI corrosion and to enhance the mass transfer of the reactants including oxygen and H to the ZVI surface. The characteristics of the ideal technology are proposed and the future research needs for ZVI technology are suggested accordingly.
Large amount of sludge has been a great trouble and raised significant concerns in China. This paper reviewed the current situation of sludge production, management, treatment and disposal in China. Total sludge production in China had an average annual growth of 13% from 2007 to 2013, and 6.25 million tons dry solids was produced in 2013. Per Capita sludge production in China is lower than that in developed countries. However, sludge management is poor in China. Administrative agents of sludge are not in accordance with each other. Laws and regulations of sludge management are incomplete and sometimes unrealistic. As to sludge treatment and disposal, many technical routes have been applied in China. Thickening, conditioning, and dewatering are three most used treatment methods, while application ratios of stabilization and drying are low in China. More than 80% of sludge is disposed by improper dumping in China. Regarding proper disposal, sanitary landfill is the commonest, followed by land application, incineration and building materials. According to the overall situation of China, “thickening-anaerobic digestion-dewatering-land application” is the priority technical route of sludge treatment and disposal. Good changes, current challenges and future perspectives of this technical route in China were analyzed and discussed in details.
In the year 2010, effluents from 90 European wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were analyzed for 156 polar organic chemical contaminants. The analyses were complemented by effect-based monitoring approaches aiming at estrogenicity and dioxin-like toxicity analyzed by in vitro reporter gene bioassays, and yeast and diatom culture acute toxicity optical bioassays. Analyses of organic substances were performed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) or liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) or gas chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS). Target microcontaminants were pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), veterinary (antibiotic) drugs, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), organophosphate ester flame retardants, pesticides (and some metabolites), industrial chemicals such as benzotriazoles (corrosion inhibitors), iodinated x-ray contrast agents, and gadolinium magnetic resonance imaging agents; in addition biological endpoints were measured. The obtained results show the presence of 125 substances (80% of the target compounds) in European wastewater effluents, in concentrations ranging from low nanograms to milligrams per liter. These results allow for an estimation to be made of a European median level for the chemicals investigated in WWTP effluents. The most relevant compounds in the effluent waters with the highest median concentration levels were the artificial sweeteners acesulfame and sucralose, benzotriazoles (corrosion inhibitors), several organophosphate ester flame retardants and plasticizers (e.g. tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate; TCPP), pharmaceutical compounds such as carbamazepine, tramadol, telmisartan, venlafaxine, irbesartan, fluconazole, oxazepam, fexofenadine, diclofenac, citalopram, codeine, bisoprolol, eprosartan, the antibiotics trimethoprim, ciprofloxacine, sulfamethoxazole, and clindamycine, the insect repellent N,N′-diethyltoluamide (DEET), the pesticides MCPA and mecoprop, perfluoroalkyl substances (such as PFOS and PFOA), caffeine, and gadolinium.
The global presence of microplastic (MP) in aquatic ecosystems has been shown by various studies. However, neither MP concentrations nor their sources or sinks are completely known. Waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) are considered as significant point sources discharging MP to the environment. This study investigated MP in the effluents of 12 WWTPs in Lower Saxony, Germany. Samples were purified by a plastic-preserving enzymatic-oxidative procedure and subsequent density separation using a zinc chloride solution. For analysis, attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FT-IR) and focal plane array (FPA)-based transmission micro-FT-IR imaging were applied. This allowed the identification of polymers of all MP down to a size of 20 μm. In all effluents MP was found with quantities ranging from 0 to 5 × 10 m MP > 500 μm and 1 × 10 to 9 × 10 m MP < 500 μm. By far, polyethylene was the most frequent polymer type in both size classes. Quantities of synthetic fibres ranged from 9 × 10 to 1 × 10 m and were predominantly made of polyester. Considering the annual effluxes of tested WWTPs, total discharges of 9 × 10 to 4 × 10 MP particles and fibres per WWTP could be expected. Interestingly, one tertiary WWTP had an additionally installed post-filtration that reduced the total MP discharge by 97%. Furthermore, the sewage sludge of six WWTPs was examined and the existence of MP, predominantly polyethylene, revealed. Our findings suggest that WWTPs could be a sink but also a source of MP and thus can be considered to play an important role for environmental MP pollution.
This review focuses on the development of polyamide (PA) thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes for various aqueous media-based separation processes such as nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and forward osmosis since the concept of TFN was introduced in year 2007. Although the total number of published TFN articles falls far short of the articles of the well-known thin film composite (TFC) membranes, its growth rate is significant, particularly since 2012. Generally, by incorporating an appropriate amount of nanofiller into a thin selective PA layer of a composite membrane, one could produce TFN membranes with enhanced separation characteristics as compared to the conventional TFC membrane. For certain cases, the resulting TFN membranes demonstrate not only excellent antifouling resistance and/or greater antibacterial effect, but also possibly overcome the trade-off effect between water permeability and solute selectivity. Furthermore, this review attempts to give the readers insights into the difficulties of incorporating inorganic nanomaterials into the organic PA layer whose thickness usually falls in a range of several-hundred nanometers. It is also intended to show new possible approaches to overcome these challenges in TFN membrane fabrication.
Research in the field of Forward Osmosis (FO) membrane technology has grown significantly over the last 10 years, but its application in the scope of wastewater treatment has been slower. Drinking water is becoming an increasingly marginal resource. Substituting drinking water for alternate water sources, specifically for use in industrial processes, may alleviate the global water stress. FO has the potential to sustainably treat wastewater sources and produce high quality water. FO relies on the osmotic pressure difference across the membrane to extract clean water from the feed, however the FO step is still mostly perceived as a “pre-treatment” process. To prompt FO-wastewater feasibility, the focus lies with new membrane developments, draw solutions to enhance wastewater treatment and energy recovery, and operating conditions. Optimisation of these parameters are essential to mitigate fouling, decrease concentration polarisation and increase FO performance; issues all closely related to one another. This review attempts to define the steps still required for FO to reach full-scale potential in wastewater treatment and water reclamation by discussing current novelties, bottlenecks and future perspectives of FO technology in the wastewater sector.
In recent years, semiconductor photocatalytic process has shown a great potential as a low-cost, environmental friendly and sustainable treatment technology to align with the “ ” waste scheme in the water/wastewater industry. The ability of this advanced oxidation technology has been widely demonstrated to remove persistent organic compounds and microorganisms in water. At present, the main technical barriers that impede its commercialisation remained on the post-recovery of the catalyst particles after water treatment. This paper reviews the recent R&D progresses of engineered-photocatalysts, photoreactor systems, and the process optimizations and modellings of the photooxidation processes for water treatment. A number of potential and commercial photocatalytic reactor configurations are discussed, in particular the photocatalytic membrane reactors. The effects of key photoreactor operation parameters and water quality on the photo-process performances in terms of the mineralization and disinfection are assessed. For the first time, we describe how to utilize a multi-variables optimization approach to determine the optimum operation parameters so as to enhance process performance and photooxidation efficiency. Both photomineralization and photo-disinfection kinetics and their modellings associated with the photocatalytic water treatment process are detailed. A brief discussion on the life cycle assessment for retrofitting the photocatalytic technology as an alternative waste treatment process is presented. This paper will deliver a scientific and technical overview and useful information to scientists and engineers who work in this field.