ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Photocatalytic air-cleaning using TiO2 nanoparticles in porous silica substrate

Andraž Šuligoj, Urška Lavrenčič Štangar, and Nataša Novak Tušar

Laboratory for Environmental Research, University of Nova Gorica, Vipavska 13, 5001, Nova Gorica, Slovenia



Abstract: For air-cleaning, TiO2 photocatalysis represents one of the very efficient advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) that can decompose chemically and microbiologically stable volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, the photocatalytic activity of nanocrystalline TiO2 powders can be significantly suppressed due to TiO2’s poor adsorption characteristics for organic compounds and its relatively low surface area. The present study sought to solve this problem by immobilising nanocrystalline TiO2 in the porous silicate substrate. Two titania sources were used in an aqueous solution form: a suspension from a TiO2 producer in Slovenia, Cinkarna Celje (CC-40) and a TiO2 sol, prepared by a low-temperature synthesis developed at the University of Nova Gorica (TiO2-UNG). Two different types of mesoporous silica were used: SBA-15 with an ordered hexagonal pore arrangement and KIL-2 with disordered inter-particle mesoporosity. The structural characteristics, adsorption properties and photocatalytic activity of catalysts deposited on aluminium plates as thin films were investigated. CC-40 exhibited higher adsorption and photocatalytic activity than TiO2-UNG due to the greater quantity of Ti-OH groups on its surface. The addition of mesoporous silica led to higher adsorption and catalytic activity for both TiO2 sources. SBA-15 was more efficient than KIL-2.

Keywords: TiO2 nanoparticles – porous silica – SBA-15 – KIL-2 – adsorption – photocatalytic activity

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-014-0553-7


Chemical Papers 68 (9) 1265–1272 (2014)

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