Air pollution is an increasing issue for people around the globe, especially those living in large cities. While the drive to swap to cleaner, greener technologies and alternatives grows, there is still a need to offer air purification in many technology areas. The issues of air purity affect not only the outdoor environment, but also indoors. The building, its decoration and the local levels of Radon gas can all impact the air quality inside buildings.
A 2015 paper by Xiong et al worked on combining absorption with photocatalysis. The concept was to increase the concentration of pollutants around a photocatalyst by absorbing them onto an adjacent surface. The photocatalytic oxidation process would then regenerate the absorbent, preventing the surface from becoming saturated and a “one use only” technology.
Their research focussed on the development of a graphene aerogel combined with titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is well known for its photocatalytic activity while graphene aerogels are of great interest due to their exceptionally high surface area. The group added the titanium oxide to a graphene oxide dispersion and then went on to functionalise the graphene oxide by reacting it with ethylenediamine before converting it into an aerogel. The group found that the shape of the aerogel was easily directed by the shape of the vessel it was formed in, offering great flexibility for creating air purification cartridges. At the time of publication, while the group had confirmed that the desired material could be made, further work was still needed to understand the purification capability of the TiO2/graphene aerogel.
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Procedia Engineering, 2015, 121, 957 – 960