The photocatalysis process step by step
Photocatalysis is a chemical reaction triggered by the presence of light . This is why we often call it a photochemical reaction.
This process is similar to photosynthesis because it is activated through light irradiation, usually through UV light sources that trigger a chemical process that consists of oxidation.
For this process to happen, two elements are necessary; one that we have already commented on (light) and another that we need to define now. The photocatalyst; this is defined as a substance that causes a reaction without being involved in it. This substance absorbs light in order to generate the chemical reaction we are talking about.
What does this chemical reaction involve? We’ll explain step by step.
- First we need to have our two star elements; the photocatalyst and light.
- As an example, we will use titanium dioxide (TiO2), an active component of our OpenNANO AG425TI nanolayer, as a photocatalyst.
- For the desired effect to occur, we need to apply the nanolayer, which contains the photocatalyst (TiO2), through a spray on the surface to be protected.
- By exposing the surface or material that we have covered to ultraviolet light, the photocatalyst absorbs energy and its particles are excited.
- At that time, accelerated vibration is produced that, on interaction with the atmosphere, leads to the separation of atoms from the air and creates free radicals of oxygen and water.
- These free radicals can be found naturally in our environment, moreover, they are essential in many organic self-purification and purification mechanisms since they have a strong oxidising effect and act as
- In this way, the nanolayer keeps surfaces aseptic and purifies indoor air.
What are the benefits of photocatalysis?
One of this method’s greatest advantages is its long duration since it remains intact for several years and only requires light irradiation to activate its antibacterial properties.
TiO2 is only one of the photocatalysts that nanotechnology offers, but it demonstrates the possibilities available in terms of disinfection quite well.
- It only requires one application which makes it cost-effective and sustainable
- It is safe as it does not produce any harmful residues.
- It reduces the need for constant cleaning, thereby simplifying the disinfection process.
It is undoubtedly a good example of how using nature as inspiration can give us a significant advantage.
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Nevárez-Martínez, M., Espinoza Montero, P., Quiroz Chávez, F., & Ohtani, B. (04 de diciembre de 2017). Photocatalysis: beginning, present and trends through TiO2. Avances en Química, 12(2-3), 45-59. Obtenido de https://www.redalyc.org/jatsRepo/933/93357608005/html/index.html
Oshida, Y. (2013). Bioscience and Bioengineering of Titanium Materials. San Francisco: Elsevier. Obtenido de https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780444626257000042?via%3Dihub
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