Highly active TiO2-based photocatalaysts for indoor air remediation

Puddu, Valeria (2008) Highly active TiO2-based photocatalaysts for indoor air remediation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Energy saving policies applied to modem buildings and air recirculation systems promote the build up of high levels of VOCs in indoor air. The growing concern related to the air quality in indoor environments requires the replacement of ineffective traditional purification methods, with an efficient and cost effective technology. Photocatalytic oxidation that utilise TiO2, represents a promising candidate for this purpose. However, the formulation of photocatalysts that can efficiently utilise a sustainable energy source (i.e. solar light), still represents an ambitious target in this field.

In this study, different TiO2-based photocatalysts were synthesised by modified sol-gel and/or hydrothermal routes. The materials were characterised by XRD, SEM, N2 sorption (BET and BJH methods), UV-vis Spectroscopy and XPS. The photocatalytic activity of TiO2-based materials was systematically investigated at different light intensities, in a gas-phase flatplate photoreactor, using trichloroethylene (TCE) as model pollutant, and compared with that of the commercial product TiO2 Degussa P-25.

This research provides insights into the influence of preparation parameters on different synthetical pathways for the preparation of highly active TiO2- based photocatalysts. The general approach to this investigation is based on the study of the influence of several processing parameters on morphological, textural and crystallographic properties of the photocatalysts, in order to correlate the material's features with their photocatalytic properties.

The preparation of a wide range of pristine TiO2 allowed assessing a clear correlation between phase composition and crystal size and the photocatalytic performance. A series of highly active anatase photocatalysts was prepared. The best photocatalyst has an optimum crystal size of 28 nm and exhibits a photocatalytic activity that exceeds that of P-25 by a factor of over 2 times.

A new TiO2/WO3 nanocomposites with peculiar crystallographic properties of the W component was developed by a novel one-step hydrothermal synthesis. The synthesis conditions were optimised with respect to the photocatalytic activity.

Overall, the optimisation of the properties that enable an efficient interfacial charge transfer rate at the catalyst surface was found to be of fundamental importance for the design of improved TiO2-based photocatalysts.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Li Puma, G.
Keywords: Photocatalysis, titanium dioxide, indoor air quality
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Item ID: 14577
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 10:12
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 05:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/14577

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