INNOVATION IN NANOTECHNOLOGY
FOR A BETTER LIFE
The Clear Cities Project utilizes the top scientific minds of Photocatalysis and the most modern research equipment to establish and perfect a level playing field for the measurement of efficiency across the sector of Photocatalytic Applications.
At the J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry, a team of top scientists has been involved in the research and preparation of nanostructured photocatalytic materials, in determining their functional properties and in the mechanisms of photocatalytic processes in liquid and gas phases. The implementation of progressive environmental technology based on the use of high-efficiency photocatalytic materials in practice requires further research and answering a number of questions related to its application in real-world conditions.
The aim of the project is to solve specific problems associated with the reduction of air pollution concentrations in urban and industrial agglomerations and in traffic-exposed localities. Air pollution, especialy from Nitrogen Oxides ("NOx") is associated mainly with increased incidence of respiratory and oncological diseases and reduced immunity in risk groups (small children, seniors, pregnant women). According to statistics, 600,000 people die in the EU each year due to air pollution. A serious air quality problem is the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which occurs mainly in buildings with a central air-conditioning system, but also in buildings with mold. Significant sources of indoor air pollution are plastic materials, varnishes, adhesives, bonding materials, thinners and, last but not least, cleaning and disinfectants known as Volatile Organic Compounds or "VOCs".
The technology of new, 2nd generation, photocatalytic materials, which have the highest activity, represents a new, very effective and economically efficient possibility of air decontamination not only in interiors, but also solution of environmental problems with air pollution. Photocatalytic technology has not yet been widely used as a compensatory measure for the environmental impact of buildings due to the absence ofquantitative methodology for determining air purification efficiency. The lessons learned in the project will provide governmental authorities, designers, architects and investors with the basis for developing relevant technical standards and optimized test procedures that can serve as a basis for their decision on where and how to use this technology appropriately in locations with varying degrees of air pollution.
The principle of photocatalysis for removal of pollutants from air is based on the absorption of light quantities by titanium dioxide resulting in the formation of a free electron-hole pair. Electrons reduce and holes oxidize pollutant molecules. The end products of photocatalytic degradation of pollutant molecules are inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide and water.
The project is therefore focused on meeting the following objectives:
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