21.02.2021 change 21.02.2021

Szczecin researchers working on air-purifying building materials

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

A Szczecin scientist is hoping her research into photoactive building materials will make air purification more efficient.

Dr. Magdalena Janus from the West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin said: “I am trying to create photoactive building materials so that they can be used for air purification. The photocatalyst introduced, for example, into cement, activates under the influence of light, and hydroxyl radicals (some of the strongest known oxidants) form on the surface. 

“They are capable of decomposing organic compounds into carbon dioxide and water.”

The photocatalyst she is studying is titanium dioxide, a semiconductor produced on a large scale at the Chemical Plant in Police as titanium white, a white pigment used in many industries: as an additive to paints, paper or cosmetics.

Photoactivity (activity initiated by light) is achieved by appropriate modification with nitrogen (this photocatalyst is produced by Professor Antoni W. Morawski). According to Dr. Janus, it causes titanium dioxide to activate under the influence of visible radiation (photocatalysts are usually activated by ultraviolet radiation).

Paints and plasters containing special active substances are already in use and, says Dr. Janus, photocatalyst introduced into the mass of building material such as cement, “in some cases even increases the strength of materials.”

Photoactive cement can be used among other things as an additive to the abrasive layer of paving stones. It can also be used for the production of concrete elements, the surface of which will not be covered with additional materials in the future (PAP)

author: Elżbieta Bielecka

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