Potential of nanoparticles and nitrates released to water from photocatalytic pavements

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Conference Proceeding

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Heterogeneous photocatalysis for self-cleaning and air purifying construction materials, using titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, is a promising and fast growing technology. Much of the focus of recent research has been concentrated on understanding photodegradation benefits, such as the reduction of nitrogen oxides. Few researchers have investigated the potential adverse effects because of application of photodegradation. Potential trade-offs include the adverse environmental effects from photodegradation intermediates, photodegradation end products, or TiO2 nanoparticles released to the environment, either into the atmosphere or the water. As a result, potentially harmful compounds - TiO2 nanoparticles and nitrates - released to water from photocatalytic concrete pavements were measured. The amount of nitrates eluted to water was measured after 4.5 h of photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) of nitrogen oxide (NOx) using environmental settings, which would provide the most NOx reduced and nitrates created. After 4.5 h of photocatalytic activity, 8.984 μmols of nitrates were released to water accounting for 49% of the theoretical amount of nitrates created. In addition, the amount of the titanium element was measured using inductive coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Titanium nanoparticles were not detected in any of the water samples. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.

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Construction Research Congress 2014: Construction in a Global Network - Proceedings of the 2014 Construction Research Congress

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