Photocatalytic Surfaces: Environmental Benefits of Nanotitania§

Norman S. Allen*, 1, Michele Edge1, Joanne Verran1, Lucia Caballero1, Concepcion Abrusci2, J. Stratton3, Julie Maltby3, Claire Bygott3
1 Biology, Chemistry and He alth S ciences, Manchester Metropolitan Un iversity, Chester Str eet, M anchester M 1 5GD , UK
2 Visiting Fellow, UCM, Madrid, Spain
3 Millennium Chemicals, P.O. Box 26, Grimsby, N.E. Lincs, DN41 8DP, UK

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© 2009 Allen et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Biology, Chemistry and Health Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester Street, Manchester M1 5GD, UK; E-mail:
§ Presented at NanoFun Congress April ROMA 2008.


The use of photocatalytic titania nanoparticles in the development of self-cleaning and depolluting paints and microbiological surfaces is demonstrated. In the former case surface erosion and sensitised photooxidation is shown to be controlled by the use of catalytic grades of anatase nanoparticles. For environmental applications in the development of coatings and cementitious materials for destroying atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) stable substrates are also illustrated with photocatalytic nanoparticles. Here porosity of the coatings through calcium carbonate doping is shown to be crucial in the control of the effective destruction of atmospheric NOX gases. Good environmental stability of the coatings is also crucial for long term durability and this aspect is examined for a variety of material substrates. For the development of microbiological substrates for the destruction of harmful bacteria/fungi effective nanoparticle anatase titania is shown to be important with hydrated high surface area particles giving the greatest activity. Data from commercial pilot studies is used to signify the important practicalities of this type of new technology.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, pigments, titanium dioxide, anatase, rutile, de-pollution, self-cleaning, cementitious, photocatalysis, anti-bacterial, paints, coatings.