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1 March 2005 Photocatalytic Coatings for Environmental Applications
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A series of nano- and micronparticle-grade anatase and rutile titanium dioxide pigments have been prepared with various densities of surface treatments, particle size and surface area. Their photocatalytic activites have been determined in a series of paint films by FTIR, chalking, color, gloss change and weight loss after artifical weathering. The pigments have also been examined by rapid assessment methodologies using photodielectric microwave spectroscopy, 2-propanol oxidation and hydroxyl analysis. The microwave response under light and dark cycles provides an extended timescale probe of charge-carrier dynamics in the pigments. Pigment particle size, surface area and properties clearly play an important role in dispersion and any polymer–pigment interactions. Photooxidation studies on several types of paint films show a clear demarcation between nanoparticle- and pigmentary-grade titanium dioxide, with the former being more active because of their greater degree of catalytic surface activity. The photosensitivity of titanium dioxide is considered to arise from localized sites on the crystal surface (i.e. acidic OH), and occupation of these sites by surface treatments inhibits photoreduction of the pigment by ultraviolet radiation; hence, the destructive oxidation of the binder is inhibited. Coatings containing 2–5% by weight alumina or alumina and silica are satisfactory for general-purpose paints. If greater resistance to weathering is desired, the pigments are coated more heavily to about 7–10% weight. The coating can consist of a combination of several materials, e.g. alumina, silica, zirconia, aluminum phosphates of other metals. For example, the presence of hydrous alumina particles lowers van der Waals forces between pigments particles by several orders of magnitude, decreasing particle–particle attractions. Hydrous aluminum oxide phases appear to improve dispersibility more effectively than most of the other hydroxides and oxides. Coated nanoparticles are shown to exhibit effective light stabilization in various water- and oil-based paint media in comparison with conventional organic stabilizers. Hindered piperidine stabilizers are shown to provide no additional benefits in this regard, often exhibiting strong antagonism. The use of photocatalytic titania nanoparticles in the development of self-cleaning paints and microbiological surfaces is also demonstrated in this study. In the former case, surface erosion is shown to be controlled by varying the ratio of admixture of durable pigmentary-grade rutile (heavily coated) and a catalytic-grade anatase nanoparticle. For environmental applications in the development of coatings for destroying atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen oxide gases (NOX), stable substrates are developed with photocatalytic nanoparticle-grade anatase. In this study, porosity of the coatings through calcium carbonate doping is shown to be crucial in the control of the effective destruction of atmospheric NOX gases. For the development of microbiological substrates for the destruction of harmful bacteria, effective nanoparticle anatase titania is shown to be important, with hydrated high surface area particles giving the greatest activity.

Norman S. Allen, Michele Edge, Gonzalo Sandoval, Jo Verran, John Stratton, and Julie Maltby "Photocatalytic Coatings for Environmental Applications," Photochemistry and Photobiology 81(2), 279-290, (1 March 2005).
Received: 22 June 2004; Accepted: 1 July 2004; Published: 1 March 2005

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