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Development of TiO2 photocatalysts suitable for practical use and their applications in environmental cleanup

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Recently, environmental disruption is proceeding on a global scale through the consumption of huge amounts of fossil fuels and the emission of various chemical substances. However, these substances resist bio-treatment. TiO2 generates electrons and holes by irradiation with light. Most organic micro-pollutants, including dioxins, are decomposed into carbon dioxide and water by the effect of the holes with high oxidative potential. By using such a photocatalytic reaction, various applications are feasible for environmental cleanup. In general, TiO2 powder has been utilized as photocatalyst, although TiO2 powder photocatalyst has several disadvantages: (1) it is difficult to handle, (2) photocatalytic reaction is slow and it takes a lot of time for treatment and (3) it is difficult to apply to plastics and textiles, because the photocatalyst decomposes them. We have developed a photocatalyst suitable for practical use and have developed high-activity photocatalysts such as TiO2 photocatalytic transparent film, photocatalytic silica-gel, apatite-coated TiO2 photocatalyst usable for plastics and textiles, photocatalytic paper, photocatalytic blue charcoal and photocatalytic oxygen scavenger. The application of these high-activity photocatalysts has been studied in deodorization, anti-bacterial, self-cleaning, anti-stain, water treatment, air purification such as photocatalytic decomposition of dioxins and VOC, and NOx removal. Now various photocatalytic articles using these new photocatalyst materials are on the market in Japan. Photocatalytic technology can create many valuable products for environmental use all over the world.

Affiliations: 1: Ecological Ceramics Group, Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 110 Nishiibara-cho, Seto, Aichi 489-0884, Japan;, Email:


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