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Active {001} Facet Exposed TiO2 Nanotubes Photocatalyst Filter for Volatile Organic Compounds Removal: From Material Development to Commercial Indoor Air Cleaner Application

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journal contribution
posted on 12.07.2018, 00:00 authored by Seunghyun Weon, Eunji Choi, Hyejin Kim, Jee Yeon Kim, Hee-Jin Park, Sae-mi Kim, Wooyul Kim, Wonyong Choi
TiO2 nanotubes (TNT) have a highly ordered open structure that promotes the diffusion of dioxygen and substrates onto active sites and exhibit high durability against deactivation during the photocatalytic air purification. Herein, we synthesized {001} facet-exposed TiO2 nanotubes (001-TNT) using a new and simple method that can be easily scaled up, and tested them for the photocatalytic removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both a laboratory reactor and a commercial air cleaner. While the surface of TNT is mainly composed of {101} facet anatase, 001-TNT’s outer surface was preferentially aligned with {001} facet anatase. The photocatalytic degradation activity of toluene on 001-TNT was at least twice as high as that of TNT. While the TNT experienced a gradual deactivation during successive cycles of photocatalytic degradation of toluene, the 001-TNT did not exhibit any sign of catalyst deactivation under the same test conditions. Under visible light irradiation, the 001-TNT showed degradation activity for acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, while the TNT did not exhibit any degradation activity for them. The 001-TNT filter was successfully scaled up and installed on a commercial air cleaner. The air cleaner equipped with the 001-TNT filters achieved an average VOCs removal efficiency of 72% (in 30 min of operation) in a 8-m3 test chamber, which satisfied the air cleaner standards protocol (Korea) to be the first photocatalytic air cleaner that passed this protocol.