Cleaning water effectively with sunlight

Themes: Materials, Social Impact

Early lab scale demonstration

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

Click to enlarge


Polluted water is a problem especially in developing countries, prompting a need for a cheap water cleaning device. Photocatalysts could enable the application of household scale photoreactors for this purpose. Current photoreactors/catalysts do not perform well enough for practical application.


We use nanostructuring, with gas phase deposition technology, to tune and enhance the characteristics of photocatalytic materials. The improved photocatalysts will be fixated on a substrate and incorporated in an improved prototype photoreactor.


Field-tests in Vietnam are due in 2019. Further collaborations with companies active in developing countries are sought.

Dominik Benz MSc


Prof. dr. ir. Ruud van Ommen