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Innovation application: Active under the sunlight nanostructured TiO2-ZnO photocatalysts for environmental problem solving

Title Active under the sunlight nanostructured TiO2-ZnO photocatalysts for environmental problem solving

The technology to obtain surface fixed under the sunlight active TiO2-ZnO photocatalysts were developed. This technology includes preparation of a porous TiO2 layer or TiO2 nanotubes coating on a titanium support by using plasma electrolytic oxidation or anodization followed by modification of the coating with ZnO nanostructures by using spray pyrolysis or chemical deposition method of zinc salts. sunlight, obtained  coatings were modified with ZnO nanoparticles by using spray pyrolysis and chemical deposition methods.

Keywords photocatalysis, photocatalysts, plasma electrolytic oxidation, anodization, spray pyrolysis
Authors Jānis Grabis
Reinis Drunka
Dzidra Jankoviča
Anita Letlena
Ints Šteins
Gundega Heidemane
Pāvels Rodionovs
Department (14N00) Neorganiskās ķīmijas institūts
Statistical Classification of Economic Activities, NACE 2 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
Description of the technology

The new technology includes titanium substrate cleaning and etching, preparation of homogeneous porous oxide coatings and oriented nanotube coatings on a substrate by using plasma electrolytic oxidation and anodizatoin methods, as well as modification of obtained coatings with ZnO nanostructures. By optimizing the methods of anodizing and plasma electrolytic oxidation, the optimal electrolyte composition, voltage, process duration, and distance between electrodes were determined. By optimizing pyrolytic spraying and chemical precipitation methods, optimal parameters for electrolyte composition and process duration were determined. A flow-through reactor system has been developed, which simulates the photocatalyst activity testing performed under the solar radiation and determines the optimal composition of the photocatalyst.

Applications The developed technology can be used to create sunlight active fixed TiO2-ZnO photocatalysts for degradation of harmful organic compounds.

Main advantages:

1. Catalysts are fixed on the surface and are therefore easily removed from solution after the technological process.
2. The structure of nanopores and nanotubes provides the photocatalyst with an increased specific surface area, which provides higher photocatalytic activity.

3. Modification of TiO2 photocatalysts with ZnO nanoparticles allows them to be successfully used under the visible light illumination and under the sunlight. (Pure TiO2 is only active under ultra violet (UV) irradiation). 

4. Developed photocatalyst technology ensures low photocatalyst production costs.

5. Photocatalysts are reusable.

6. The substarte of the photocatalyst can be reused.

Technology Readiness Level System complete and qualified
Partnership offer The licensing agreement; The establishment of the start-up company ; Consulting agreement to start manufacturing photocatalysts and to improve their properties during the manufacturing process.
ID 157
Contact information Linda Šufriča, e-mail: inovacijas@rtu.lv; phone.: 28442736