Using titania photocatalysts to degrade toluene in a combined adsorption and photocatalysis process

Linda Y. Zou, Yonggang Luo, Eric J. Hu

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7 Scopus citations


Three types of titania supported materials including titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide composite, titania-coated activated carbon and titania-coated glass beads were prepared and used as photocatalysts to remove toluene from an air stream. Their surface areas were analysed. TEM image reveals titania-silica composites were nanostructured aggregates. XRD was used to determine their crystalline phase which was 100% anatase for the titania component. A fixed bed reactor was designed and built in the laboratory, the toluene with initial concentration of 300 ppm (1149 mg/m3) was fed into the reactor, the destruction efficiencies of toluene were determined by the gas analyser. It was also found that TiO2-SiO2 aggregates with high surface area (421.1 m2/g) achieved high destruction efficiencies. The combined effects of adsorption and photocatalysis were further studied by comparing the performance of pure activated carbon (surface area of 932.4 m 2/g) and TiO2 coated activated carbon with BET surface area of 848.4 m2/g. It was found that the TiO2 coated activated carbon demonstrated comparable results to pure activated carbon, and most importantly, the TiO2-coated activated carbon can be effectively regenerated by UV irradiation, and was reused as adsorbent. The experimental result of titania-coated glass beads demonstrated a steady degradation efficiency of 15% after a period of 17 hours. It helped to understand that photocatalysis degradation ability of the TiO2 was constant regardless of the adsorption capacity of the catalysts. This photocatalytic property can be used to degrade the adsorbed toluene and regenerate the catalyst. This study revealed that if the experiments were designed to use adsorption to remove toluene and followed by regeneration of adsorbent using photocatalysis, it could achieve a very high removal efficiency of toluene and reduce the regeneration cost of saturated adsorbent.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2007


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