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This photocatalyst works with visible light

By Chemical Engineering |

A photocatalyst that uses visible light to deodorize and disinfect air has been developed by Hiroshi Taoda at the Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Chubu, Nagoya, (AIST; Chubu, Nagoya, Japan; www.aist.go.jp). The catalyst is made from inexpensive components, such as titanium dioxide, apatite mineral and iron, without using more costly noble and rare-earth metals, thus making it suitable for use in consumer applications, such as car interiors, bathrooms and smoking rooms. An optimized composition of TiO2, apatite and iron has been shown to be nearly six times more effective at decomposing formaldehyde than existing photocatalysts, which also do not respond to visible light, says Taoda. Also, acetaldehyde is completely broken down to CO2 and water after 3-h irradiation. Furthermore, the photocatalyst showed enhanced performance for the decomposition of acetaldehyde under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. For disinfection, the catalyst was shown to reduce the number of Staphylococcus aureus by nearly five orders of magnitude to below 10 after 8 h irradiation with white fluorescent light — an efficiency of 99%. The catalyst also eliminates 90% of…
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