Batch photocatalytic degradation studies of phenol were conducted in an annular slurry reactor, to evaluate its performance under different operating and design conditions. The reactor had two concentric cylinders with the inner one rotating at specified revolutions per minute. The reactor also had provisions for aerating the slurry present in the annular gap. The inner cylinder housed the UV-lamps. The effects of catalyst loading (0-8 g/L), inner cylinder rotation speed (0-50 rpm), annular gap-width (7.5, 17.5 and 32.5 mm), initial pollutant concentration (10-50 mg/L) and mode of illumination (continuous or periodic) were studied. Light intensity received by the slurry was measured using Actinometry. Depending on the catalyst loading, annular gap-width and number of illuminated lamps the intensity values ranged from 0.58×10-4 to 6.4×10-4 Einsteins/L min. Under well mixed conditions, the reactor performance was found to increase with increase in catalyst loading. At low/medium annular gap width configurations, agitation induced by continuous aeration was found to provide sufficient mixing even when the inner cylinder was stationary. Rotation of the inner cylinder was required only in the high gap width configuration at high catalyst loadings. Scale-up of the reactor was investigated by increasing the gap-width of the annulus and hence increasing the quantity of feed processed. Controlled periodic illumination created by Taylor vortices did not show any improved performance over the regular continuous illumination. Modeling of reaction kinetics was investigated with different approaches and their efficacy in fitting the concentration-time trends of both the primary pollutant and the intermediates are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.