Photochemical Reactors: Theory, Methods and Applications of Ultraviolet Radiation

CE 65000

Credit Hours:



Ernest R. Blatchley III

Learning Objective:

Students will learn fundamental principles of photochemistry and photochemical processes that are in common use.  These fundamental principles will be used as a foundation to explore the behavior of photochemical reactors and methods used to evaluate and predict their behavior, including analytical and numerical methods.  Applications of UV radiation will then be explored, including disinfection of water and wastewater; chemical transformations by direct photolysis, photooxidation, and photoreduction processes; and disinfection of air and surfaces.  The focus in this class will be on fundamental concepts, so as to prompt their application in a wide range of settings, encourage questions and discussion, and to promote creativity.


The class will be divided into three modules.  Module 1 addresses fundamental, foundational issues of photochemistry and photochemical reactor theory.  Module 2 addresses methods of reactor analysis, including analytical methods, numerical models, and diagnostic procedures.  Module 3 addresses applications of UV radiation, aimed at modification of composition in liquids, gases, and on solid surfaces.

Topics Covered:

History of photochemistry; principles of photochemistry; fundamental photochemical reactor theory; sources of UV radiation; actinometry and radiometry; numerical models for simulation of photochemical reactors; reactor validation methods; methods for quantification of microbial responses to UVC irradiation: UV disinfection of water; direct photolysis, advanced oxidation processes, and advanced reduction processes; UV disinfection of air and surfaces.


Calculus and differential equations, fluid mechanics, CE 550 or equivalent.



Web Address:

Course materials to be made available on Brightspace.

Web Content:

Syllabus, grades, lecture notes, recorded lectures and accompanying presentation files, homework assignments, quizzes, exams and their corresponding solutions.


Assignments (20% of semester grade) will be given on roughly a weekly basis.


Quizzes (10% of semester grade) will be given on a weekly basis; quiz topics will be pre-announced.


An exam will be given after each course module and will focus on the topics that are included in the module for which the exam was developed.  Exams scores will comprise 70% of semester grade.


E.R. Blatchley III (2023) Photochemical Reactors: Theory, Methods and Applications of Ultraviolet Radiation, Wiley, Print ISBN:9781119871309 | Online ISBN:9781119871606 | DOI:10.1002/9781119871606.  See for additional information.

Computer Requirements:

Access to common software (e.g., MS Office) is expected.

Additional written and video information about this new class can be found online: