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PublicationChemosphere
Year2012
Volume87(6)
Pages625-630
International

Photocatalytic elimination of indoor air biological and chemical pollution in realistic conditions

Authors:Benigno Sánchez , Marta Sánchez-Muñoz , María Muñoz-Vicente , Guillermo Cobas , R. Portela, Silvia Suárez Gil, Nuria Rodríguez , Ricardo Amils
Groups of research:Spectroscopy and industrial catalysis
The photocatalytic elimination of microorganisms from indoor air in realistic conditions and the feasibility of simultaneous elimination of chemical contaminants have been studied at laboratory scale. Transparent polymeric monoliths have been coated with sol–gel TiO2 films and used as photocatalyst to treat real indoor air in a laboratory-scale single-step annular photocatalytic reactor. The analytical techniques used to characterize the air quality and analyze the results of the photocatalytic tests were: colony counting, microscopy and PCR with subsequent sequencing for microbial quantification and identification; automated thermal desorption coupled to gas chromatography with mass spectrometry detection for chemical analysis. The first experiments performed proved that photocatalysis based on UVA-irradiated TiO2 for the reduction of the concentration of bacteria in the air could compete with the conventional photolytic treatment with UVC radiation, more expensive and hazardous. Simultaneously to the disinfection, the concentration of volatile organic compounds was greatly reduced, which adds value to this technology for real applications. The fungal colony number was not apparently modified.
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