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TiO2 Photocatalytic Oxidation Technology

Frequently Asked Questions...


What is a Photocatalyst (photocatalysis, photocatalytic action)?

Photo-catalyst is the creation of a strong oxidation agent to breakdown any organic matter to carbon dioxide and water in the presence of the photocatalyst, light and water.
The word ‘photocatalysis’ is actually composed of two parts, “photo” and “catalysis”. ‘Photo’ is the Greek word for ‘light’ and ‘Catalysis’ is the process where a substance participates in modifying the rate of a chemical transformation of the reactants without being altered or consumed in the end. It is the acceleration of  a photo-reaction in the presence of a catalyst. The catalyst increases the rate of a reaction by reducing the activation energy. Therefore, ‘photocatalysis’ is a reaction which uses light to activate a substance which modifies the rate of a chemical reaction without being involved itself. A “Photocatalyst” is the substance which can modify the rate of chemical reaction using light irradiation.

Examples of the functions of a photocatalyst would be..

Air Purification

Anti Airborne Allergy, Improve IAQ,  Remove; Ethylene, Formaldehyde, NOx, SOx etc

Deodorisation

Removes Aldehyde,  Ammonia, Chloroform, Diesel, Garbage, Mercapton, P-dischlorobenzene, Pest infestation,

Sanitisation

Elimination of Moulds, Fungi Algal growth ,etc

Self clean function

Eliminates Oil residue, Soil, Rain stain, , Moss, Moulds, Soot etc,

Sterilisation,

Anti Bacterial, Virus, Germs

Water Purification

Removes Dye, Organic Chloride, Starch etc

What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is a rapidly growing science in the production and utilisation of particles that measure in nanometers. The term 'nanoparticles' is generally used to indicate particles with dimensions less than 100 nanometers. (1nm = 0.000000001m)
For comparison, a human hair is between 50,000 to 100,000nm in diameter, while a smoke particle is about
1,000nm in diameter


How safe is TiO2?

TiO2 is the most widely used white pigment because of its brightness and very high refractive index in which is not  surpassed by many other materials.

Approximately 4 million tons of  TiO2 are consumed worldwide annually.

It is used as a pigment to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, coatings, plastics, papers, inks, foods, medicines (i.e. pills and tablets) as well as most toothpastes. TiO2 is also utilised to whiten skimmed milk; this has also been shown to increase the milk's palatability. You will also find it in food as E171


What best describes a TiO2 PCO application?

A nano-TiO2 PCO application can be used for the self-cleaning of all surfaces, Air and Water treatment, Deodorisation and Sterilisation. NanoYo TiO2 has the enhanced ability of being able to kill viruses, mould spores and all kind of bacterial germs, however,  as it is water permeable it is not a sealant , therefor it is not to be confused with a surface coating - it’s correct classification is a “Ultra-Thin-Film  Surface Treatment”


Does TiO2 effect or stain the treated surface?

No, it becomes a part of the structure/surface it is applied to and is totally invisible. There will be no staining if  TiO2 is used and applied as recommended.


Does a TiO2 treatment change the hardness and the feel of the surface?

Our TiO2 Ultra-Film treatment has a hardness of approx. 4H to 5H (pencil grade) after curing. Even treated fabrics and textiles do not change their feel after being treated.


Does the Treatment work with artificial light in indoor-areas?

Yes, our product contains the smallest sized TiO2 PCO particles possible to date and is therefore the most active PCO available on the market today.


How does your TiO2 work?

Our TiO2 PCO contains valuable properties in its nanoscale size. As a micro crystal TiO2 is a super-hydrophilic photocatalyst, this is the basis of the self-cleaning, antibacterial, air-cleaning property and the many other features of a nano-TiO2 PCO Utra-film.

How does the intensity of light affect the ability TiO2 to create friendly oxidisers that can purify the air?

As a characteristic of titanium dioxide, it starts to produce friendly oxidiser en mass when exposed to ultraviolet rays of 400nm range or lower.  It is more affected by the intensity of the ultraviolet rays rather than the intensity of light itself per se. However, any air pollution, VOC, or odour that comes in contact with a surface treated with TiO2 liquid will become oxidised.


How does the air cleaning work?

The pollutants in the air are repeatedly brought into contact with the treated  surfaces by natural air convection and movement. When the pollutants strike the treated surfaces they are decomposed by TiO2. Others that are decomposed in the air include: nitrogen oxide (NOx), formaldehyde, benzene and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Decomposition by-products are innocuous amounts of compounds like carbon dioxide, water and nitrates.


How does the water cleaning work?

The surface applied the TiO2 decomposes organic pollutants in the water. The resulting decomposition products are innocuous amounts of compounds such as carbon dioxide, water and nitrates. This process is known as PhotoCatalytic Oxidisation (PCO).


What are some of the more popular applications for Nano TiO2 solution?

Bathrooms, floor tiles, sinks, showers, car interiors, to remove and prevent tobacco odours, kitchen counters, furniture and carpets (especially if you have pets), curtains, mini-blinds, windows exposed to light, ceiling fans, car rims,  white outdoor furniture,  house gutters (keep them mould free),  concrete or brick  that  you want to keep mould and algae free,  the list goes on and on.


Can TiO2 be applied to carpets?

Yes, and with great results! Carpets treated with  TiO2 will resist not only odours and grime but also pests such as fleas. Carpets will last much longer as well. For this reason, carpets and fabrics in trains and pubic transportation are now being treated with TiO2 in Japan with great results.


How does the odour elimination work?

The odour substances in the air travel with the circulating airflow over the treated surfaces...they are then decomposed to odourless compounds.


How does the antibacterial effect of TiO2 work?

As bacteria meet theTiO2 treated surface, it decomposes the cell wall of the bacteria...in this reaction the bacteria are killed and are totally decomposed.


How long before your PCO Treatment dries?

Our PCO treatment  is normally dry in 10 - 30 seconds. After this, rain or sprayed water will cause no damage or harm to the Ultra-Thin-Film.


How durable is the Titanium Dioxide treatment?

The durability depends mainly on the treatment of the coated surface and the surrounding conditions. The durability can vary between five and ten years, however, the photocatalytic effect is unlimited.


Is the TiO2 treatment consumed by the PCO process?

The TiO2 PCO treatment only works as a catalyst therefor it is not consumed in the oxidation process -unless the application surfaces have been altered  I.e. Painted or walpapered over - it is effective permanently.


Is there any scientific evidence for the efficacy?

The efficiency of a TiO2 PCO Ultra-Thin-Film has been analysed and documented many many times by worldwide scientific studies. See our Library page (opens in a new page) for the basics links, further information can be made available to interested companies on request.


What is amorphous titanium dioxide?

In the amorphous state the titanium dioxide is not crystalline and therefore much more photo-catalytically active.


What kind of pollutants decompose in the area of the TiO2 PCO treatment?

The TiO2 PCO treatment decomposes: Ethylene, nitrogen oxide (NOx), formaldehyde, benzene and other volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). This includes troublesome odorous substances. These pollutants are decomposed to nontoxic compounds like minute amounts of carbon dioxide, water and nitrates.


What kind of pollutants decomposes in water treatment?

Nano TiO2 PCO decomposes organic pollutants in water. Decomposition products are nontoxic compounds like carbon dioxide, water and nitrates. The process is known as PhotoCatalytic Oxidization (PCO). The process works in visible light but is better as the UV irradiation is more intensive. UV lamps can sometimes be used in conjunction for total optimisation in commercial situations  


What happens if the treated surface is damaged?

Scratches and small marks do not reduce the efficacy of the TiO2 PCO treatment. Usual effects of the weather do not wear away the Ultra-Thin-Film. The treatment can only be removed by extreme influences of continuing scouring with sand granulates or Ammonia.

Can I apply a TiO2 treatment by myself?

Yes! A DIY kit will be available from us shortly in 150 ml (sufficient for circa 25-30m2) or 300 ml atomised spray bottles. The treatment can also be applied on all even surfaces with a HVLP spray gun (high volume low pressure). With a HVLP sprayer the Treatment can be self-applied over large areas...but only with some spraying experience will a consistent application be achieved.

Nevertheless the quality of the Treatment will not be as good as if applied professionally with our Electrostatic sprayer unit.


What other applications is TiO2 used for...

TiO2 on silica is used as a form of odour control in cat litter. This photocatalyst is somewhat cheaper than silica beads per usage and effectively eliminates odour for longer periods.
It is also incorporated as a photocatalyst in dental bleaching products. It allows for the use of decreased concentrations of hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent...thus claimed to achieve similar bleaching with fewer side effects.

In cosmetic and skin care products...TiO2 is used as a pigment, sunscreen and a thickener. It is also used as a tattoo pigment and in styptic pencils. TiO2 is produced in varying particle sizes, oil and water dispersible, and with varying coatings for the cosmetic industry. This pigment is used extensively in plastics and other applications for its UV resistant properties where it acts as a UV absorber, efficiently transforming destructive UV light energy into heat.

In ceramic glazes TiO2 acts as an opacifier and seeds crystal formation.

TiO2 is found in almost every sunscreen with a physical blocker because of its high refractive index, its strong UV light absorbing capabilities and its resistance to discolouration under ultraviolet light. This advantage enhances its stability and ability to protect the skin from ultraviolet light. Sunscreens designed for infants or people with sensitive skin are often based on titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as these mineral UV blockers are believed to cause less skin irritation than chemical based UV absorber ingredients.