PROCESS INTEGRATION AND OPTIMIZATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY, vol.5, no.3, pp.663-673, 2021 (ESCI)
Photocatalytic processes are center of interest for environmental researchers long since, due to their effectiveness for the degradation of refractory compounds which cannot be decomposed by conventional treatment methods. The most important parameter for these processes, which affects the photocatalytic performance, is undoubtedly the type of the photocatalysts used. It is usually required to conduct many experimental studies to understand the effectiveness of different types of materials as photocatalysts and to determine the most suitable photocatalyst for the target pollutant. To assist and facilitate this photocatalyst selection process through evaluating the literature and refraining from experimental studies, an example of a theoretical approach of fuzzy axiomatic design (FAD) is introduced to elect TiO2, ZnO, alpha-Fe2O3, WO3, and Bi2WO6 exclusively for removal of azo dyes as target refractory organic. While assessing the considered photocatalysts, azo dye degradation studies in the literature were reviewed in order to determine and evaluate the criteria. Accordingly, seven criteria were determined, namely, photocatalytic activities in ultraviolet (UV) and visible regions, mineralization efficiency, chemical inertness, photostability, toxicity, and required catalyst loading. These criteria were evaluated through both the acceptation of having equal and also different weights. For pairwise weighting of criteria, analytical hierarchy process (AHP) was utilized. By means of this study, a scientific basis to the catalyst selection for photocatalysis of azo dye was introduced via FAD approach. According to the defined criteria, Bi2WO6 was selected as the most convenient among the evaluated materials with the information contents for equal and different weight cases as 4.57 and 1.26, respectively. In this study, it is aimed to create a systematic generic basis with the FAD approach in the field of environmental engineering to the selection of photocatalysts for bio-refractory organics by taking azo dyes as a target pollutant.