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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (5) : 2
Impact of photocatalytic remediation of pollutants on urban air quality
Christian GEORGE1,*(),Anne BEELDENS2,Fotios BARMPAS3,Jean-François DOUSSIN4,Giuseppe MANGANELLI5,Hartmut HERRMANN6,Jörg KLEFFMANN7,Abdelwahid MELLOUKI8
1. Université Lyon 1, CNRS, UMR 5256, IRCELYON, Institut de recherches sur la catalyse et l’environnement de Lyon, Villeurbanne F-69626, France
2. Belgian Road Research Centre (BRRC), Woluwedal 42-1200 Brussels, Belgium
3. Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering (LHTEE), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Box 483, GR 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
4. LISA, UMR CNRS 7583, Université Paris Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil 94010, France
5. CTG Italcementi Group, Via Stezzano 87, 24126 Bergamo, Italy
6. Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie / School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bergische Universität Wuppertal (BUW), 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
7. Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschunge.V. (TROPOS), Atmospheric Chemistry Department, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
8. Institut de Combustion, Aérothermique, Réactivité et Environnement (ICARE), CNRS (UPR 3021)/OSUC, 1C Avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, Orléans 457071, France
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Air pollution remediation using photocatalytic construction materials was tested.

NOx and VOC uptake rates on different materials were measured in the laboratory.

Effective NOx and VOC abatement levels were tested under real conditions.

Recommendations for implementation of photocatalytic materials are provided.

In the recent years, photocatalytic self-cleaning and “depolluting” materials have been suggested as a remediation technology mainly for NOx and aromatic VOCs in urban areas. A number of products incorporating the aforementioned technology have been made commercially available with the aim to improve urban air quality. These commercial products are based on the photocatalytic properties of a thin layer of TiO2 at the surface of the material (such as glass, pavement, etc.) or embedded in paints or concrete. The use of TiO2 photocatalysts as an emerging air pollution control technology has been reported in many locations worldwide. However, up to now, the effectiveness measured in situ and the expected positive impact on air quality of this relatively new technology has only been demonstrated in a limited manner. Assessing and demonstrating the effectiveness of these depolluting techniques in real scale applications aims to create a real added value, in terms of policy making (i.e., implementing air quality strategies) and economics (by providing a demonstration of the actual performance of a new technique).

Keywords Photocatalysis      Air pollution      Depollution efficiency      NOx      VOC      Air quality abatement and management     
This article is part of themed collection: Understanding the processes of air pollution formation (Responsible Editors: Min SHAO, Shuxiao WANG & Armistead G. RUSSELL)
Corresponding Author(s): Christian GEORGE   
Issue Date: 09 May 2016
 Cite this article:   
Christian GEORGE,Anne BEELDENS,Fotios BARMPAS, et al. Impact of photocatalytic remediation of pollutants on urban air quality[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(5): 2.
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Christian GEORGE
Abdelwahid MELLOUKI
Fig.1  Simplified scheme of the various (photo)chemical conversions involved in the formation of photochemical pollution episodes, so called photosmog. This scheme highlights the catalytic nature of atmospheric processes, influenced by anthropogenic activities.
Fig.2  Simplified description of photocatalysis. When illuminated with light of energy higher than the band gap, electron-hole pairs are created in a semi-conductor, thus allowing chemical reactions on its surface. If applied on urban surfaces, these reactions may then introduce sink processes for atmospheric pollutants.
Fig.3  Typical experiment on the degradation of NO2 on photoactive concrete. The NO2 flow was first stabilized using a reactor bypass, then this flow was directed into the bed flow reactor in the dark. A NO2 sink can be observed showing a possible dark reaction. Then lights were switched on inducing a photochemical conversion due to the photocatalytic nature of the tested material.
Fig.4  Schematic of the measurement sites during the field trial in a tunnel at Brussels. This figure shows the location of the two sites and lists the various measured parameters in the test section. The slope of the tunnel, impacting the driving conditions, is also schematized.
Fig.5  Schematic of the measurement sites during the outdoor field trial, where the various measurements were performed in workshop located between a reference (on the right) and an active (on the left) street canyon.
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