Nanomaterials for Environmental Purification: two examples
Zhang Pengyi, Tsinghua University
We are facing serious environmental pollution, especially in the rapid developing China. The engineered nanomaterials provide us a new method. Two examples will be given to illustrate how we develop nanomaterials for indoor air pollution control and persistent organic pollutant decomposition.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde are the main indoor air pollutants. We developed a so-called vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photocatalytic process for indoor air purification. The key problem is how to simultaneously decompose indoor air pollutants and eliminate the by-products. We developed noble-metal modified TiO2 photocatalytic material and manganese oxide modified TiO2. Integrated with other related technologies, we succeeded in developing air purifiers based on the nanomaterials mentioned above.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an emerging persistent organic pollutant, which has been globally found in water, air, wildlife and humans. We demonstrate efficient decomposition of PFOA by heterogeneous photocatalysis with In2O3 nanosphere as a novel photocatalyst. And we tried to elucidate the reason why In2O3 is effective while the most studied photocatalyst, i.e. TiO2 is not so effective.