Access to drinkable water is increasingly difficult in developing nations. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 billion people lack access to this resource. The scientific community has risen to the challenge by developing innovating methods to purify water. In this context, a chitosan/titanium dioxide biocomposite represents an appealing, economically viable solution to remove oils, heavy metals, and pathogen colonies from contaminated waters. The present chapter reports the study of a chitosan film matrix impregnated with nanoparticles, which was capable of expressing antibacterial properties when exposed to UV light. Several techniques allowed characterizing the biocomposite uniformity, corroborating the crystal structure and assessing the bonding type of this biocomposite mixture. Antibacterial tests with Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) were completed via growth curve analysis and the Kirby-Bauer technique. The results of this encompassing study revealed that bacterial growth was reduced by more than 50%. Optical microscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction helped to characterize this biocomposite film. This chapter discusses how a novel and biodegradable film represents a better antibacterial material that is able to eliminate pathogens cost-effectively.
Part of the book: Renewable and Sustainable Composites