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Type: Journal article
Title: Removal of VOCs by photocatalysis process using adsorption enhanced TiO2-SiO2 catalyst
Author: Zou, L.
Luo, Y.
Hooper, M.
Hu, E.
Citation: Chemical Engineering and Processing: process intensification, 2006; 45(11):59-964
Publisher: Elsevier Science SA
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0255-2701
Statement of
Linda Zou, Yonggang Luo, Martin Hooper and Eric Hu
Abstract: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) exist widely in both the indoor and outdoor environment. The main contributing sources of VOCs are motor vehicle exhaust and solvent utilization. Some VOCs are toxic and carcinogenic to human health, such as benzene. In this study, TiO2–SiO2 based photocatalysts were synthesized using the sol–gel method, with high surface areas of 274.1–421.1 m2/g obtained. Two types of pellets were used as catalysts in a fixed-bed reactor installed with a UV black light lamp. Experiments were conducted to compare their efficiencies in degrading the VOCs. Toluene was used as the VOC indicator. When the toluene laden gas stream passed through the photocatalytic reactor, the removal efficiencies were determined using a FTIR multi-gas analyser, which was connected to the outlet of the reactor to analyse the toluene concentrations. As the TiO2–SiO2 pellets used have a high adsorption capacity, they had dual functions as a photocatalyst and adsorbent in the hybrid photocatalysis and adsorption system. The experiments demonstrated that the porous photocatalyst with very high adsorptive capacity enhanced the subsequent photocatalysis reactions and lead to a positive synergistic effect. The catalyst can be self-regenerated by photocatalytic oxidation of the adsorbed VOCs. When the UV irradiation and feeding gas is continuous, a destruction efficiency of about 25% was achieved over a period of 20 h. Once the system was designed and operated into adsorption/regeneration mode, a higher removal efficiency of about 55% was maintained. It was found that the catalyst pellets with a higher surface area (421 m2/g) achieved higher conversion efficiency (100%) for a longer period than those with a lower surface area. A full spectrum scan was carried out using a Bio-rad Infrared spectrometer, finding that the main components of the treated gas stream leaving the reactor, along with untreated toluene, were CO2 and water. The suspected intermediates of aliphatic hydrocarbons and CO were found in minimal amounts or were non detectable. The kinetic rate constants were calculated from the experimental results, it appeared that the stronger adsorption capacity, i.e. larger specific surface area, the higher conversion efficiency would be achieved.
Keywords: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Titanium dioxide
Chemical composition
DOI: 10.1016/j.cep.2006.01.014
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Environment Institute publications
Mechanical Engineering publications

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