Another field of solar chemistry applications is solar photochemistry. Solar photochemical processes make use of the spectral characteristics of the incoming solar radiation to effect selective catalytic transformations, which find application in the detoxification of air and water and the processing of fine chemical commodities.
Solar detoxification achieves photocatalytic treatment of non-biodegradable persistent chlorinated water contaminants typically found in chemical production processes. For this purpose, parabolic trough collectors with glass absorbers are usually employed and the high intensity of solar radiation is used for the photocatalytic decomposition of organic contaminants. Recent developments in photocatalytic detoxification and disinfection of water and air are presented by Goswami (1999). The process uses ultraviolet energy, available in sunlight, in conjunction with a photocatalyst (titanium dioxide), to decompose organic chemicals into non-toxic compounds (Methos et al., 1992). Another application concerns the development of a prototype employing lower-concentration compound parabolic collectors (Grasse, 1998).
The use of a compound parabolic concentrator technology for commercial solar detoxification applications is presented by Blanco et al. (1999). The objective is to develop a simple, efficient, and commercially competitive water treatment technology. A demonstration facility was erected at Plataforma Solar de Almeria in southern Spain.
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Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.